Friday, June 10, 2005

Taoiseach rejects "confusion" over the ratification process

Breaking News reports that Bertie Ahern denied yesterday that there was some confusion over the ratification process and argued that "What people do not know is where would the Netherlands and France stand if everybody else ratified it. What would actually happen and what time frame is there now for ratification." However, Daily Ireland' today's editorial notes that "the continuing assertions by the Irish government that it will hold a referendum on the EU constitution must be regarded with suspicion. It is obvious that the treaty is dead, and that another one will be negotiated." More here Ahern: No confusion on EU Constitution
09/06/2005 - 15:53:03

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has denied that people are confused over the ratification of the EU Constitution.

The draft Treaty needs agreement from 25 member states but EU founder members France and the Netherlands have already rejected it.

However Mr Ahern pointed out that 10 countries have already ratified it and 13 have yet to decide, including Ireland.

“That’s where it’s at. I don’t think there’s any confusion,” he told reporters in Dublin today.

“What people do not know is where would the Netherlands and France stand if everybody else ratified it. What would actually happen and what time frame is there now for ratification.”

The Taoiseach said a European Council summit in Brussels next week will give EU leaders some guidance on the troubled issue.

“We have to wait until next week when we will get the collective view of everybody and to see what is the position moving forward.”

Mr Ahern, who helped broker EU agreement on the Treaty last year, also said it was unlikely there would be ratification in the UK in the shorter term.

“They hold an important position because they take over the EU presidency next month,” he added.

Last week, Progressive Democrat TD Mae Sexton said an Irish referendum would be a waste of money and urged the Government to have the document re-negotiated.

Luxembourg Prime Minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, who currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency, has said he will resign if Luxembourg rejects the Constitution in its July 10 referendum.

The tiny state, with an electorate of 200,000, is the next country to vote on the EU Constitution after it was rejected in France and the Netherlands.