Germany, UK Court Sarkozy in EU Dispute

French president could be be key to European constitution
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2007 6:43 AM CDT
The President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy holds a press statement with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the chancellery in Berlin, Wednesday, May 16, 2007. (AP Photo/Franka Bruns)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Hours after Nicolas Sarkozy became president of France, both Germany and Britain began wooing him—Germany to win his support for a European constitution, Britain to secure his opposition to it. Sarkozy immediately huddled with Angela Merkel, the German chancellor who has been lobbying hold-outs with one-on-one talks, the London Times reports.

France rejected the constitution in a referendum in 2005 but 18 other countries ratified it. Sarkozy is expected to play a key role in negotiating changes that could make an agreement more palatable to the five EU sceptics—Britain, Poland, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Denmark.