Royal swipes at Sarkozy's 'mini-ambition' for Europe

21st June 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 21, 2007 (AFP) - Defeated French presidential candidate Segolene Royal said after meeting President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday that his support for a simplified EU treaty showed a lack of ambition for Europe.

PARIS, June 21, 2007 (AFP) - Defeated French presidential candidate Segolene Royal said after meeting President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday that his support for a simplified EU treaty showed a lack of ambition for Europe.

"At this stage, I consider that the mini-treaty is a mini-ambition for Europe, and it needs to be improved," said Royal, one of a raft of French politicians consulted by Sarkozy ahead of Thursday's European Union summit.

Royal said the meeting -- her first with the president since their televised duel before the second round of the election on May 6 -- took place in a "businesslike" atmosphere.

The Socialist, whose break-up with her partner of 30 years, party leader Francois Hollande made headlines this week, said she had insisted on "avoiding any digression" in her talks with Sarkozy.

"I respect our institutions. There is a topic on the agenda, that is what I discuss. And when the conversation moves towards other things, I come back to the question of the day," she said.

EU leaders including the newly-elected Sarkozy were gathering later Thursday for a summit to discuss a proposed new treaty that would replace a constitution that was rejected by Dutch and French voters in referendums in 2005.

The French president, who campaigned on a promise to jump-start the European project, was the first European leader to present the idea of a simplified treaty during a trip to Berlin in February 2006.

But Royal warned that any text that did not include the EU's charter of rights and pave the way for tax harmonisation to protect French jobs from outsourcing, would have to be improved on.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French News

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