France-EU war of words over jobs escalates

6th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 6 (AFP) - A war of words between Paris and Brussels intensified Thursday as Commission president José Manuel Barroso hit back at president Jacques Chirac over his criticism of the EU for not defending European jobs.

PARIS, Oct 6 (AFP) - A war of words between Paris and Brussels intensified Thursday as Commission president José Manuel Barroso hit back at president Jacques Chirac over his criticism of the EU for not defending European jobs.

"We all have the duty not to cut off the branch which we are sitting on -- in other words not to attack European institutions, because Europe is more than ever necessary," Barroso said in an interview with Le Monde newspaper.

"I believe there is an ethic of European responsibility that obliges us to explain to citizens what each (institution) can do, and I appeal to politicians to respect that ethic," Barroso said.

On Tuesday Chirac openly rebuked the commission for "failing to take an interest" in the predicted loss of 6,000 jobs in Europe -- including 1,240 in France -- caused by restructuring at the US computer giant Hewlett-Packard.

Denying the charge, Barroso said that the commission had "immediately told the French authorities that we were ready to hold talks with Hewlett-Packard trade unions and that we would examine favourably any request for the reallocation of France's social funds."

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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