Zapatero unveilsEuro compromise
15 June 2004
MADRID – Spanish prime minister Jose Lluis Rodriguez Zapatero broke with tradition Tuesday and explained his position on the future European Constitution for the first time before parliament.
Zapatero chose to do this ahead of the European Council and Intergovernmental Conference in Brussels Thursday and Friday.
During the conference, the EU leaders will try to reach an agreement on the new Constitution.
Government sources played up Zapatero’s decision to address parliament on the issue before appearing at the conference.
“This is something new in Spanish political life,” one souce said.
Zapatero was expected to say he will accept the principle of double majority, which had been a sticking point at earlier talks.
At the Brussels summit in December, Poland and Spain were dead against a proposal in the draft constitution that says a vote is passed when it has the support of 50 percent of member states representing 60 percent of the EU’s population.
They argued in favour of an earlier system, agreed at a summit in Nice in 2000, which gives them almost as much clout as the biggest countries – France, Germany, Italy and the UK.
The draft constitution says the new “double majority” voting system should take over from the Nice system in 2009.
Some countries, particularly Germany and France, are keen to ensure that this happens.
The new Spanish socialist government and the Poles have both indicated that they may now be prepared to compromise
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news