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Merkel backs Sarkozy on EU agenda and Irish question

brussels bureau

Merkel backs Sarkozy on EU agenda and Irish question


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.

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