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EU ministers chew over Irish referendum result

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EU ministers chew over Irish referendum result


On the European Union foreign ministers’ menu at their emergency talks in Brussels: Irish stew.

After Irish voters’ ‘No’ in last Thursday’s referendum turned hopes of EU institutional reform to jelly, the ministers said they had “no quick fix” but they promised to keep the Lisbon Treaty alive.

Slovenia’s six months as EU president therefore heads towards an anti-climactic ending, and France’s looks set to begin with strenuous exercise.

Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen is expected to be the centre of attention at a summit of the bloc’s leaders this Thursday and Friday.

Britain said Dublin was analysing hard before deciding on what to do next. London is determined to defy domestic Eurosceptic pressure and complete ratification in its parliament this week.

Almost all Dublin’s 26 EU partners say ratification should continue elsewhere in the bloc, but not the Czech Republic: It and eight other member states have yet to endorse the pact.

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