Spanish, German leaders try toiron out differences over Europe

8th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

8 November 2004 , LEON - Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero met with his German counterpart Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in Spain Monday for consultations focusing on European and international issues. The talks, at a luxury resort in the northern Spanish town of Leon, were the first between the two leaders since Zapatero was elected Spanish prime minister. The two countries are at odds over the future of EU funds. Germany, as one of the biggest contributors to EU coffers, wants member st

8 November 2004  

LEON - Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero met with his German counterpart Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in Spain Monday for consultations focusing on European and international issues.

The talks, at a luxury resort in the northern Spanish town of Leon, were the first between the two leaders since Zapatero was elected Spanish prime minister.

The two countries are at odds over the future of EU funds. Germany, as one of the biggest contributors to EU coffers, wants member states to be able to reduce payments to no more than one per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

As one of the major recipients of EU funds Spain is opposed to this plan, and is demanding a more moderate reduction

Other areas of conflict are plans to loosen the EUstability pact, which would benefit Germany, and the EU constitution. Spain will be the first member state to put the constitution to a referendum, scheduled for next February.

Germany and Spain are also divided on the issue of immigration. Despite being a landing ground for illegal immigrants from Africa, Spain opposes on humanitarian grounds a suggestion by German Interior Minister Otto Schily to establish holding centres in North Africa.

Schily has accompanied Schroeder to the talks - along with Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, Defence Minister Peter Struck, Consumer Protection Minister Renate Kunast and Justice Minister Birgitte Zypries.

Other issues on the agenda include the Mideast and Iraqi conflicts, and progress in nuclear talks between Iran and the EU.

DPA

Subject: German news 

0 Comments To This Article