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25 05 2007 - Sarkozy rejects Turkish EU place (From A.M)
Mr Sarkozy said a reform treaty was his top priority
New French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said he will stand firm in his opposition to Turkey being allowed to join the European Union.
"I couldn't have been a candidate for the presidency with one view and then changed it having become president," he said after a European Commission visit.

He said the issue should be debated once the EU reformed its institutions.

Mr Sarkozy said a simplified treaty was the only way forward to replace the stalled EU constitution.

'Way out'

"I do not see the use of raising the issue of Turkey since it is not being discussed now. We have enough to cope with," Mr Sarkozy said after meeting European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in Brussels.

Europe cannot remain at a standstill, we cannot remain in this relative paralysis

Nicolas Sarkozy
French President

The French president said that instead his priority was to clinch an agreement on a reform treaty at next month's EU summit in Brussels.

"We need to move forward and a simplified treaty is the way forward.

"Europe cannot remain at a standstill, we cannot remain in this relative paralysis... we have to find a way out of this impasse," Mr Sarkozy said.

In his turn, Mr Barroso said he was counting on France to provide fresh dynamism in Europe, and that a consensus was now emerging within the EU in support of a slimmed-down treaty.

Voters in France and the Netherlands rejected a proposed constitution at referenda two years ago, leading to the current deadlock.

The constitution needs the backing of all 27 nations of the EU.


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