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Germany

Fischer Urges Poland to Rethink Stance on EU Voting Rights

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer has urged Poland to reassess its position on the question of members’ voting rights in the deadlocked debate on the EU constitution. In an interview with German news magazine Spiegel on Friday, Fischer said Germany wasn’t interested in only watching out for its own interests, but rather in preventing the blocking of decision-making mechanisms. Poland and Spain are considered to be chiefly responsible for the collapse of EU constitution talks last weekend because of their refusal to accept a new voting system pushed by Germany, France and other larger EU states. Warsaw and Madrid argue the new system will effectively curtail their decision-making power within the bloc. "Many net contributors (to the EU budget) and even we say clearly: it’s better to finance the first highway kilometer, the first rail kilometer in Poland and in other candidate countries, than the last kilometer in the European South. To that extent there must be a reallocation in favor of the new. A decision-making majority in the EU commission would enable this rerouting," Fischer said. "If the Poles reconsidered their interests, they would come to this conclusion too."