Unity in the EU took a battering with reports of ‘violent’ exchanges between France and the European Commission – and claim and counter-claim between France and Germany.
The summit was dominated by the French expulsion of Roma people, believed by the Commission to be discriminatory. French president Nicolas Sarkozy claimed Germany is about to follow suit.
“Mrs Merkel has shown me her wish to proceed in the coming weeks with the evacuation of camps… and I must say I have been very touched once more by the complete, total and entire support of Angela Merkel,” said Sarkozy.
That news came as something of a surprise to the German Chancellor, who denied that Germany had any such plans. The Romanian president, whose country has been receiving the majority of Roma expelled from France, said the row is now closed.
“We do not care if there will be or if there will not be a (European Commission) investigation. But I am very convinced that today the so-called dispute Paris-Brussels was closed,” said Traian Basescu.
Sarkozy denied his discussions with Commission President Jose Manuel Barosso were stormy, even though other leaders and diplomats described them as ‘very violent’ and ‘virile.’
Brussels is considering legal action against France over the Roma expulsions.