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Portugal at EU helm, Poland still rocking the boat

Portugal at EU helm, Poland still rocking the boat
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Vowing to dispell uncertainty, Portugal has presented its programme for the next six months as holder of the rotating European Union presidency. At the Parliament in Strasbourg, Prime Minister Jose Socrates said he would work actively in pursuit of an accord on a new EU treaty, to have it ready for signing at a European Council meeting in Lisbon this October. Socrates said: “I am ready to handle any problems that might come up during this final phase of negotiations. I know that we can achieve this. One thing is clear: our mandate is not to change the mandate but to transform this mandate into a treaty.” In spite of a compromise reached last month, statements by Poland threaten to reignite the institutional row with other EU members. Warsaw has cast new doubt on the last-ditch deal leading to a definitive reform of the bloc.