Poles ready 'to die' over EU voting rights: PM

Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski stepped up the rhetoric over European Union voting rights, saying Poles were ready to "die" to get their way on the issue.

Poles ready 'to die' over EU voting rights: PM
Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski stepped up the rhetoric over European Union voting rights Wednesday, saying Poles were ready to "die" to get their way on the issue.

Warsaw has repeatedly threatened to veto a new text to replace the EU's moribund constitution unless it gets its way on a shake-up of how the 27-nation bloc makes decisions.

Poland, which has grown increasingly assertive since joining the EU in 2004, wants the number of votes each member state has in EU decisions requiring a "qualified majority" to be calculated by taking the square root of the country's population in millions.

In other words, Germany, which has 82 million inhabitants, would have nine votes and Poland, which has a population of 38 million, would have six.

"I would like to clearly state that we are as serious as we can be about the square root proposal. We are ready to die for that, despite contrary information in the press," Kaczynski said in an interview with Polish news agency PAP.

Senior Polish officials have said existing reform plans could give the biggest EU players, such as Britain, France and Germany, undue influence over the rest of the bloc.

Germany, which holds the EU's rotating presidency until the end of next month, has poured cold water on the Polish proposal.

It is trying to broker a compromise among member states on reviving the bloc's reform process, which has been on ice since the draft constitutional treaty was rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005.

Germany is hoping to reach agreement on the text at an EU summit on June 21-22 and wants a new treaty to be ratified before elections to the European Parliament in 2009.

Last Mod: 31 Mayıs 2007, 15:30
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