Schroeder reaffirms oppositionto EU referendum

16th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

16 July 2004 , LONDON - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has repeated his insistence that there would be no referendum in Germany on the new constitution for the European Union. Germany's constitution "explicitly ruled out" holding referendums, Schroeder said following talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair in London. The new constitution would instead be ratified by the German parliament, Schroeder said. Referring to the announcement Wednesday by French President Jacques Chirac that France would

16 July 2004

LONDON - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has repeated his insistence that there would be no referendum in Germany on the new constitution for the European Union.

Germany's constitution "explicitly ruled out" holding referendums, Schroeder said following talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair in London.

The new constitution would instead be ratified by the German parliament, Schroeder said.
Referring to the announcement Wednesday by French President Jacques Chirac that France would hold a referendum, Schroeder made clear this was for each country to decide individually.

Like Chirac, Blair has also been forced to concede a referendum in Britain, despite earlier insisting the decision was for parliament to make.

Ten of the EU's member countries now plan to hold a referendum on the constitution.

Turning to Anglo-German relations, Schroeder told reporters his talks with Blair had been cordial, rejecting suggestions of a breach during the EU summit in Brussels in June over the naming the new president of the European Commission.

The chancellor pointed out that EU leaders had reached agreement on Portugals's Jose Manuel Durao Barroso.

Schroeder declined to go into detail on current discussions regarding Britain's rebate from the EU.

"There must be a fair decision on this," he said, adding that while the new EU members needed support, net contributors like Germany and Britain "should not be overextended".

DPA

Subject: German news

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