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EU Treaty: leaders play down fears for enlargement

 EU Treaty: leaders play down fears for enlargement
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EU leaders have conceded they will go into a crisis summit on the bloc’s future with no firm ideas on how to resolve the impasse caused by Irelands’ rejection of the Lisbon Treaty. At a meeting in Luxembourg yesterday, ahead of Thursday’s European Council gathering, foreign ministers insisted the reform pact was still alive.

Slovenia’s foreign minister, whose country currently holds the presidency, said the outcome of Ireland’s referendum does not change enlargement policy, as some fear.

Ireland, the only country required by its constitution to hold a referendum on the treaty, rejected it by a solid majority.

The text is intended to streamline the decision-making process in an expanded union.

The Irish government says it is too early to say whether it could hold a second vote.

Meanwhile, a blame-game is simmering with France among other nations arguing the Irish result was a backlash and that the EU damaged its cause by failing to respond to anger over rising food and fuel prices.

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