Polish President Lech Kaczynski has said: “We want nothing more than our right!” Failing that “We will have to delay the discussion”, he said.
‘Will delay’ rather than ‘would delay’ implies probability. Poland has elections this Sunday; Nationalist rhetoric plays a role. Warsaw is seeking special voting influence on EU decisions.
Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown is especially eager to show that the UK’s opt-outs from areas such as taxation and foreign policy are iron-clad.
Brown is defending his claim that there is no need to put the treaty to a referendum because it is not a constitution.
Although Rome is unhappy over a redistribution of European Parliament seats that sees it falling behind France and Britain be cause of population changes, Italy says it will not block the treaty because it can negotiate this later.
Snags remain involving Austria and Bulgaria – minor ones about controlling the number of foreigners at Austrian universities, and about Cyrillic spelling of the euro – but Portugal believes they too can be resolved.