Newspaper publishes schroeder transcript

A transcript of a debate from last weekend's EU summit in Nice has revealed a bitter war of words between the leaders, with Germany's Gerhard Schroeder saying he was sickened by the complaining. A two-page abbreviated transcript of the meeting held during the summit was published by the Spanish daily El Pais yesterday. It quoted Schroeder as saying that the discussion did not “bode anything good for the future” of the European Union. The treaty was concluded amid confusion about what exactly had been agreed in the early hours of Monday morning after the longest summit in EU history, and highlighted a rift between small and large nations. “Hearing these complaints (about voting changes) makes me sick,” Schroeder was quoted as saying. “This has nothing to do with the organisation of Europe. I'll remember this for a long time.” The agreement was held up for hours by arguments over the number of votes needed in the future for a group of EU countries to block decisions under a system of “qualified majority voting”. Smaller EU countries wanted to set the threshold so that decisions could not be blocked too easily by larger EU states. “I'm sorry. The (vote) proposal is a coup d'etat,” Portugal's Antonio Guterres was reported as saying.


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