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Merkel sticks to Lisbon Treaty strategy

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07:40 CEST+02:00
German Chancellor Angela Merkel stuck to her guns Tuesday on all EU states needing to ratify the Lisbon Treaty, after Poland's president said Ireland's “no” vote made such a move pointless.

“The Lisbon Treaty makes the EU more democratic and strengthens the opportunities of all member states,” Merkel said in an interview with German daily Bild newspaper on Wednesday.

“We all agree that Europe has to become better equipped for negotiating in order to speak as one ... In my opinion the treaty is a good basis for this,” she said.

The 27-nation European Union has already agreed with Dublin to look in the autumn at how to move forward, the paper quoted her as saying. In an interview published Tuesday, the conservative Polish President Lech Kaczynski, considered a eurosceptic, said signing the treaty would be “pointless” after Irish voters rejected it in a referendum on June 12. The Polish parliament voted in April to ratify the charter, a key reform treaty meant to streamline EU decision-making, but it needs Kaczynski's signature to become law.

Merkel said she would stand shoulder to shoulder with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has set himself the task with finding a way of solving the crisis during the French presidency of the bloc that kicked off Tuesday.

“I will ... devote all my efforts towards moving the ratification process forwards with the French presidency,” Merkel said.

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