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Sarkozy gathers momentum in Brussels

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Sarkozy gathers momentum in Brussels

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The only way out of the European Union’s institutional impasse is a simplified treaty. That is French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s diagnosis. On his inaugural visit to Brussels, he was presenting his plans to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. Sarkozy wants a swift, simplified treaty to replace the EU constitution which was rejected by French and Dutch voters in referendums in 2005. “There can’t simply be a new constitution,” he said, “because the French and others said no to it.”

Eighteen of the 27 EU member states have ratified the constitution. Many are looking to Sarkozy to create momentum for a deal on the treaty at the EU summit on June 21-22. On economic and monetary matters, he said: “We’ve made the world’s number two currency: we have to have an economic government; The euro zone needs a true economic policy.”

The debate on the borders of Europe, he added at the Brussels press briefing, would take place after a solution was found for the institutions. He reiterated his position on Turkey saying: “I don’t think Turkey has a place in the EU. I haven’t changed my mind.”