Blair must be judged on hisacts, not his words: Villepin

24th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 24 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said on Friday that he was pleased by his British counterpart Tony Blair's speech in Brussels calling for modernisation of the EU, but said he should be judged by acts rather than words.

PARIS, June 24 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said on Friday that he was pleased by his British counterpart Tony Blair's speech in Brussels calling for modernisation of the EU, but said he should be judged by acts rather than words.

"I am pleased to hear these words from the mouth of Tony Blair. I am happy to see that today in the presidency of the European Union he wants to move forward," he said on France Inter radio.

"I simply want to be sure we are talking about the same thing. I am not accusing him of anything. But we must judge him by his acts," he said.

On the EU's budget -- the cause of the collapse of last week's EU summit -- Villepin said: "We were unable to reach a deal in spite of some reasonable propositions ... including an increase of EUR 1.5 billion in French contributions.

"If Britain takes into account this situation to make an effort itself and if it removes the blockages on the budget, I can only be very glad.

"But I am waiting to see this translated into action. We need to reach a budgetary agreement to get over this difficult phase for Europe," he said.

In a keynote address to Euro-deputies marking the start of Britain's six-month presidency, Blair urged the EU to face up to the challenge of globalisation.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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