Luxembourg and Italy Opposed to Core Europe | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 22.12.2003
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Luxembourg and Italy Opposed to Core Europe

In the weeks following the failed Brussels EU Summit the debate about the possible creation of a core Europe or a Europe of the six founding countries goes on.

The Spanish Prime Minister José Maria Aznar, whose country together with Poland was blamed for blocking the deal on the EU Constitution, has robustly attacked France for revisiting the 'core Europe' idea. Referring to the strong Spanish economic growth in contrast with the low French performance, Aznar was quoted by Financial Times saying: "I would add the two speeds of a Europe that is growing and a Europe that is not growing". The 'core Europe,' made up of an axis of six countries, is seen by some as an alternative for European integration in the absence of a Constitution. But not all support the notion. The Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker has called the idea "premature" and said it is not a goal in itself. Italy, too, is cool towards the core-Europe ideas. Quoted by the Parisian daily Les Echos, Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini said: "I think, it would not be in the spirit of the founding countries, to set up an axis of six countries, which would be seen by the rest as cutting Europe into two parts." (

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