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Merkel backs Sarkozy on EU agenda and Irish question

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Merkel backs Sarkozy on EU agenda and Irish question

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Setting aside differences, Chancellor Angela Merkel has promised President Nicolas Sarkozy Germany’s full support during France’s six months a EU president, starting on July 1. At their one-day summit in the southern German city of Straubing, the question came up: What happens if Ireland fails to ratify the Lisbon Treaty on reform of the EU’s institutions? Sarkozy said: “If there is an Irish rejection, it wouldn’t be a problem for the French presidency alone. I would be a problem for Europe. It is for the Irish to decide, but whatever happens, the reaction would be Franco-German.”

As a firm example of their cooperation on a difficult environmental and industrial problem, the two leaders agreed to a European Commission goal of cutting average carbon dioxide emissions to 120 grams per km from 2012 for new cars.