Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen has begun a whistle-stop tour of Europe in the hope of finding a way to make the Lisbon Treaty more palatable to voters.
It is a big gamble for the Taoiseach, whose popularity has plummeted at the polls.
Cowen’s trip includes visits to Luxembourg, London, Paris and Berlin with Angela Merkel:
“I will be explaining our position to the Chancellor, I will be listening very carefully to her views. I am conscious, of course, of the Chancellor’s excellent track record in contributing to resolving difficulties of this nature,” he said.
Irish voters left the EU reeling when they rejected the Lisbon Treaty back in June.
There is now talk of a second referendum, the plans for which could be tabled by Dublin at next week’s European Council meeting in Brussels.
Any compromises in the deal are expected to focus on guarantees over Ireland’s neutrality, abortion and tax issues.