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Europe

Big Five Establish Anti-Terror "Pioneer Group"

The interior ministers of Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain met on the margins of the recent anti-terror summit in Brussels to establish a core group to tackle the issue of security

The most significant event of the anti-terror summit which took place last Friday (March 19) in Brussels may well have occurred outside the meeting room.

In a preview of how things may soon be governed in an enlarged Europe, the interior ministers of Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain -- the big five -- held a breakfast meeting outside the main venue at the house of the British ambassador to debate anti-terror measures, according to the French paper Le Figaro.

The creation of this "pioneer group" is said to have come about due to frustration over the lack of progress from a meeting of 25 countries and 50 ministers. Nicolas Sarkozy, French interior minister fumed, "with fifty of us, it's very difficult to work and to get anything more than just rhetoric."

As a reaction, the representatives from the 'G5' met outside the summit to discuss the creation of a "pioneer group" which would progress faster than the others. The five also agreed on an information sharing system which they hope will improve efficiency in the fight against terrorism.

Same culture, same speed

Sarkozy justified the meeting saying, "The G5 is not aiming to exclude anyone: it's just a way of making our work easier, this is a big help for everyone."

"Between the five of us, we have the same culture of information, things will go quicker. The ten new countries, let us recognize, do not have any information culture, they work differently, not to mention their different relations with NATO," he was quoted in the French paper.

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