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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-06-22

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The German presidency of the EU has been having contacts with Poland, Britain, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic since early on Friday, in an effort to break the deadlock in reaching an agreement on the new treaty.

    Based on the results of the meetings, the European Council will convene later on to determine where the negotiations have arrived regarding the European Constitutional Treaty and if there will be a final proposal by the German presidency.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is presiding of the Council, said late on Thursday that there had been no outcome during the first day of deliberations and that there had been an initial exchange of views.

    ``Every attempt must be made to reach an agreement,`` she said during a press conference at the end of Thursday`s long talks, noting that she could not yet say whether it would be possible to reach one.

    Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said ``we need a new treaty`` and that he felt ``we can come to success`` on Friday. ``Failure is not an option,`` he pointed out.

    Barroso said Thursday`s dinner was ``just the entree`` and that the ``main course`` would be on Friday.

    Merkel, who has scheduled a lunch meeting with the members of the European Council, has the active support of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and has made openings towards Poland and Britain who, according to diplomatic sources, do not consider the proposals adequate.

    The member states are proposing to Poland an amendment of the 2004 agreement, which provides for majority decisions at the Council level, when a proposal gathers 55% of the number of member states and 65% of the bloc`s population. Although this would mean a stronger vote for Poland, the country continues to demand a fundamental change of the system decided in 2004.

    Furthermore, the presidency is proposing to Britain the exemption London is requesting from the implementation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of European citizens, which provides for the protection of workers, among other points.

    It also allows Britain to be exempt from the abolition of the veto in the decision making process on issues of justice and public order.

    However, the presidency and the overwhelming majority of the member states categorically dismiss London`s demand that there is no EU Minister of Foreign Affairs, in the context of the new treaty. The only thing the member states would accept is a change in the title of the position


    As parties continue their separate consultations, months before the 2008 presidential elections, the Secretary General of the main government partner AKEL Demetris Christofias appeared cautious about any predictions, before his party decides on its preferred candidate.

    Meanwhile as Government Spokesman Vasilis Palmas has said, Christofias and Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos, who is widely expected to announce his bid for re-election, met earlier in the week to discuss, among other issues, the presidential elections.

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