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Germany

Germany, Poland Work to Resolve EU Constitution Dispute

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder said Friday he would meet Polish Prime Minister Leszek Miller later this month in an attempt to end the neighbors' dispute over the European Union's first-ever constitution. The two soon-to-be EU partners have been at odds over the constitution since it was put up for approval at a special summit in December. At the time, France and Germany lined up against Poland and Spain over the question of voting rights. The draft constitution, as supported by Berlin and Paris, calls for the support of at least 50 percent of EU member states representing at least 60 percent of the bloc's population in order to pass a law. Madrid and Warsaw rejected the proposal and insisted on maintaining the weighted votes set down in Nice in 2000. Schröder has now said he would sit down with Miller in Warsaw on March 23 to discuss the issue. "Finding an agreement is not easy, but possible," the German leader said. A compromise proposal presented this week suggested altering the figures to 55 percent on both counts -- turning the scales slightly in favor of smaller states, an adjustment that might be enough to sway Poland to adopt the constitution.

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