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Fischer Fears Derailing of Constitution

If a draft version of the first EU constitution fails to get approval later this month, it could lead to a split system of integration.

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer warned Wednesday against splitting the European Union in the power struggle over the planned draft of the EU’s first constitution. In an interview with the Financial Times, Fischer said that the constitution will be a failure unless new rules on voting, which give larger member states like Germany and France more power, are accepted. Up until now, Spain and Poland have vigorously opposed the proposed new "double-majority" system that would see decisions taken when half of the member states, representing 60 percent, of the population have reached an agreement. Fischer warned that if some countries held up further EU integration, then "avant-garde" countries like France and Germany would press ahead regardless. "We will have the opposite of what we want: namely a multi-speed EU, where cracks will appear."