Irish no is a call to build Europe differently, Sarkozy says

June 14th, 2008 - 8:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Paris, June 14 (DPA) In his first personal response to the Irish rejection by referendum of the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Saturday that the vote was a call to change the way Europe was being constructed. “Many Europeans do not understand how we are constructing Europe. We must therefore change the way we do it,” Sarkozy told journalists in Paris after meeting US President George W Bush.

The Irish rejection of the treaty was “an appeal to do more, to do it better,” he said.

On Friday, immediately after the official results of Thursday’s Irish referendum were announced, Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a joint statement calling for the treaty ratification process to continue.

Sarkozy reiterated that demand Saturday, and added that this was necessary “so that the Irish incident does not become a crisis.”

France assumes the rotating EU presidency on July 1, and the Irish vote was a blow to Sarkozy, who has ambitious plans for Europe. He admitted Saturday that the no vote “will not simplify the task of the French (EU) presidency.”

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