Chirac and Schroeder to meet for EU crisis talks

2nd June 2005, Comments 0 comments

BERLIN, June 2 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac will hold talks with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in the German capital on Saturday about the crisis surrounding the EU constitution, it was announced on Thursday.

BERLIN, June 2 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac will hold talks with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in the German capital on Saturday about the crisis surrounding the EU constitution, it was announced on Thursday.  

The two leaders will take stock of the situation at a working dinner which comes after Dutch voters decided against the constitution on Wednesday, dealing the treaty a second blow after France had rejected it at the weekend.  

"The French president will go to Berlin on Saturday, June 4, for a face-to-face working dinner with the chancellor, following the referendums in France and the Netherlands," the French president's spokesman Jerome Bonnafont said in Paris.  

"This working dinner will focus on assessing the current situation and reflecting on the future of European construction."  

In a flurry of meetings following the resounding Dutch rejection, Schroeder travelled to Luxembourg on Thursday to hold crisis talks with the current EU president Jean-Claude Juncker.  

Despite the refusal from the two founder members of the European Union, Schroeder called for the ratification process to continue in the remaining countries of the 25-member bloc.  

Germany ratified the constitution last week although the process was done only by its two houses of parliament and was not put to a referendum.  

The parliament of Latvia, one of the ten states which joined the bloc in last year's enlargement, voted in favour of ratifying the constitution on Thursday.  

Ten countries have now ratified the treaty, two have rejected it, and 13 still have to undergo the process.  

Chirac and Schroeder are two of the strongest advocates of the EU constitution, and the chancellor put aside his domestic woes to visit France and urge voters to back the constitution ahead of last Sunday's referendum.  

Schroeder is due to call a confidence vote in his government on July 1, the first step to calling an early general election for September.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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