More Franco-German talks over treaty debacle

8th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 8 (AFP) - France's new foreign minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy, will head to Germany Thursday to discuss the ratification process of the EU constitution, which has suffered potentially fatal blows by being rejected by French and Dutch voters.

PARIS, June 8 (AFP) - France's new foreign minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy, will head to Germany Thursday to discuss the ratification process of the EU constitution, which has suffered potentially fatal blows by being rejected by French and Dutch voters.  

French foreign ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei said Douste-Blazy's first trip abroad, to Berlin to see his German counterpart, Joschka Fischer, was designed to underline the "essential character" of Franco-German relations in the European Union.  

Voters in France on May 29 rejected a referendum on adopting the EU charter, followed by Dutch voters on June 1.  

Germany has already ratified the constitution through parliament, not by referendum.   Douste-Blazy was appointed foreign minister last week in a major government reshuffle ordered by Chirac in the wake of the referendum's defeat.  

His trip to the German capital follows a hastily arranged one by Chirac last weekend to see Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.  

Aides said the two men plotted ways to ensure the ratification process of the EU constitution continues despite the setbacks, although that goal looked more unrealistic when Britain announced Monday it was shelving plans for its own referendum.  

EU heads of state and government are to meet in Brussels June 16-17 to evaluate their options and to find ways to best address what is being seen as a crisis for the bloc.

 

© AFP

Subject: French News

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