Friday, July 01, 2005

Blair assumes Presidency of EU

Britain has assumed the Presidency of the European Union. Prime Minister Tony Blair spoke on his vision for Europe at the Foreign Office in London on Friday afternoon. At the press conference he spoke briefly about the “dilemma of Europe” and how “we will do our best” in resolving the problems of unemployment, trade and other economic issues. On the rebate issue, he said he would look for a solution but would not discuss it openly. The ‘social model’ he said, was as important as the economic and trade in Europe. European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso added support for this saying that ‘solidarity’ within Europe and the building of a ‘social model’ was important, but he said “we need growth and a modern economy in order to fund it”.
“We are 25 countries” Barroso said, “ [but] we must avoid nationalistic rhetoric.” Adding that “compromise” was important, in the present globalized world, for Europe to succeed. “We must stop looking at it as though it were a boxing match,” he said.
[14:31 GMT 01/07/2005]

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