Schroeder regrets French vote, ratification to continueSchroeder regrets French vote, ratification to continue
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder expressed regret on Monday over the rejection by French voters of the European Union constitution, but he vowed the ratification process for the treaty must continue. "I very much regret the result of the French referendum, but the will of the voters must be respected," said Schroeder in a statement. Schroeder said the vote was a setback for the European Union (EU) constitution but stressed, "it's not the end." "The ratification process of the member states must continue," said Schroeder. So far nine of EU states have fully ratified the constitution treaty. Meanwhile, the deputy leader of Germany's
conservative opposition, Wolfgang Schaeuble, said on Monday the European Union was "in a crisis" following the rejection by French voters at the weekend of the bloc's proposed constitution. The CDU and Merkel oppose allowing Turkey to join the EU and have raised doubts over planned accession for Romania and Bulgaria in 2007.
Zapatero upbeat despite massive French 'No' vote
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said the ratification process of the EU constitution must continue despite a massive rejection of the treaty by French voters. French voters delivered an overwhelming 'No' vote against the proposed constitution, throwing the whole prospect of adopting a new treaty into doubt. Zapatero had campaigned in France last week for the 'Yes' vote. Spain ratified the constitution after a referendum in February, despite a low turn-out. After the French result, a Spanish government spokesman said: "Zapatero believes that the process should continue. "The (constitutional) treaty has already been approved by nine countries, including Germany, Spain and Italy and should be submitted to a vote in the other members of the Union.
Paris Metro stations closed for 'security' during vote
Several metro stations along Paris's famed Champs-Elysees were closed on Sunday for "security reasons" linked to France's referendum on the EU constitution, police and transport officials said. The stations at Concorde, Champs-Elysees Clemenceau, Franklin D. Roosevelt and George V were closed at 6:00 pm and were not to reopen "until further police order", officials said. Passengers travelling through those stations were to be allowed to make connections but not to exit the metro system. Trains were not to stop at all at the George V station.