German Chancellor Schröder has indicated Berlin will not climb down from its position on the mired issue of voting rights in Europe's future constitution.
German Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder signaled a toughening of his country’s position on the future EU Constitution on Sunday, saying he would not move on the important question of voting rights. "This is a question on which we are not movable", he said. The comments came after a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in Berlin. Berlusconi said he is only "55 percent optimistic" that European leaders can agree on the EU Constitution when they meet in Brussels later this week. The German government continued to back what was set out by the EU Convention, which drafted a constitution under the leadership of former French president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. The Convention proposed a new double majority voting system in the European Union where decisions can be taken if backed by at least half the EU states, representing at least 60 percent of the EU population. Member states, both current and future, have agreed on a great deal of the draft Constitution produced by the Convention, but are still at loggerheads over other major points. (EUobserver.com)