Friday, January 09, 2004
An Irish Drawing Board

Bertie Ahern, the Irish Tiaoseach, has convened a meeting in Berlin to discuss the European Constitution with the leaders of France, Germany, Spain and Poland, the four Member States whose actions led to the debacle in December. The primary motive for this was the fear that France and Germany would develop an "inner core" or adopt an integrated group outside of the present structures of the EU.

What Mr Ahern is desperately trying to avoid is a two-speed Europe, where France would take the lead for faster integration together with Germany and others.
That may be the French dream, but Mr Ahern bluntly called it a nightmare. I've never heard how that would work, he said, it would just mean endless divisions and arguments.

(22.38, 9th January 2003)


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