Attacks brought Chirac and Blair closer: Barroso

11th July 2005, Comments 0 comments

MADRID, July 10 (AFP) - Despite their "differences," the bombing attacks on London brought Prime Minister Tony Blair and French President Jacques Chirac more closely together in a common determination to defeat terrorism, EU Commission president Jose Manuel Durao Barroso said in an interview published Sunday.

MADRID, July 10 (AFP) - Despite their "differences," the bombing attacks on London brought Prime Minister Tony Blair and French President Jacques Chirac more closely together in a common determination to defeat terrorism, EU Commission president Jose Manuel Durao Barroso said in an interview published Sunday.

As the longest-serving leader at the G8 summit conference in Gleneagles, Scotland last week, Chirac "was the first to encourage Tony Blair not to suspend the meeting and to go to London," Barroso said. "There was a special feeling of solidarity" among participants at the meeting.

Before the summit, Chirac had been openly at loggerheads over agricultural subsidies and Britain's budget rebate from the European Union. Chirac had even annoyed many Britons by making a derogatory remark about British cooking during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, and by saying Britain's only contribution to European agriculture was mad cow disease.

Barroso alluded to such "differences of opinion over certain subjects" in an interview with the daily El Mundo, but added: "The question of terrorism has brought them together."

Barroso said terrorism was a global threat "and the cost will be high to those who think they can protect themselves by being soft."

Barroso also said that in the European Union, security was no longer seen as a matter of national sovereignty and that there was not a single country that thinks it can deal with the problem on its own.

"I have to say," he added, "that we have improved cooperation between our police forces and intelligence services and that we have already avoided many attacks thanks to this effort."

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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