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Germany

Delayed Adoption of EU Constitution Likely

European Union leaders are likely to delay the adoption of a proposed EU constitution as member states still have not managed to reach a compromise on crucial issues such as voting rights. German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer told parliament on Thursday that a delay was better than a piece-meal adoption of the document. “No result this year is better than a bad result,” Fischer said. Spain and Poland resist plans to introduce a proportional voting system, which would give them less power than more populous countries such as Germany and France. German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski on Thursday failed to resolve their differences on the matter during a last minute meeting in Berlin before Friday’s EU conference in Brussels. But Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, who currently holds the rotating EU council presidency, said he had come up with a proposal on voting rights that Spain and Portugal could live with. “I will pull it out at the last minute and see if they accept it,” he said. EU Commission President Romano Prodi, who has also come out in support of delaying a vote until all matters are resolved, said he didn’t know anything about Berlusconi’s “miracle solution.”

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