Chirac finds British EU summit 'very useful'

28th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

HAMPTON COURT, England, Oct 27 (AFP) - France's President Jacques Chirac said an informal EU summit in Britain on Thursday was "very useful" and reminded him of the "fireside chats" organised by his late French predecessor Georges Pompidou.

HAMPTON COURT, England, Oct 27 (AFP) - France's President Jacques Chirac said an informal EU summit in Britain on Thursday was "very useful" and reminded him of the "fireside chats" organised by his late French predecessor Georges Pompidou.

The one-day meeting at Hampton Court Palace, west of London, hosted by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, gave "excellent guidance," Chirac told a news conference afterwards.

"It reminded me of the time when Georges Pompidou (France's president from 1968 to 1974) used to insist on organising such fireside chats," he said.

"I think it is very useful to have the chance to do something other than defend your immediate interests in a conflicting manner."

He was alluding to the standard, formal European Union summits where tempers between the 25 members states often fray.

"We would be wise to hold such an informal summit at least once a year," Chirac said.

Turning to France's relationship with Germany once incoming chancellor Angela Merkel replaces the incumbent Gerhard Schroeder, Chirac said the countries' ongoing close ties were "unquestionable".

"Do not worry. There will be absolutely no change, none at all," said Chirac, who enjoys a close working friendship with Schroeder.

He predicted Merkel would further strengthen the bond between the two nations regarding the thorny topic of agriculture.

"The new German government and chancellor hold positions that are much closer to France," Chirac said.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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