WORLD

EU leaders face tensions on Roma

President Traian Basescu, present at the one day EU summit, faced fresh accusations at home over an alleged deal with Paris.

BRUSSELS – Leaders of the 27-country bloc were due to use the one-day summit in Brussels to try to ease tension between Paris and the executive European Commission over France’s deportation of 8,000 Roma migrants to Romania and Bulgaria. EU envoys said French President Nicolas Sarkozy intended to raise the issue and had talks with Van Rompuy before the summit started. “I think everything will be sorted out today,” said Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme. France’s European affairs minister said on Wednesday Reding had overstepped the mark by accusing France of breaking EU law on free movement of people. Hoping to ease the tensions, Reding told reporters on Wednesday she had not intended any comparison between Nazi Germany and the French government.


Nicolas Sarkozy and Traian Basescu briefly met before the start of the Summit works. The Romanian president was due to hold a press conference by the time Nine O’Clock went to print.


PARIS-BUCHAREST COVERT DEAL DENOUNCED


The Social Democrat Senator Titus Corlatean claims he has information according to which president Traian Basescu has green lighted the French authorities to start the Roma deportations, Mediafax informs. The Senator criticised also the government for offering to the French a Romanian air company in order to speed up the completion of the deportations.


TRADE PACT ENDORSED


The European Union agreed on Thursday to sign a free-trade pact with South Korea and hoped to make progress towards an agreement on how to tighten budget discipline to prevent a new financial crisis. In an early success at the meeting, member states secured Italy’s backing for the trade pact with South Korea, reaching a compromise to delay by six months the introduction of an agreement that Rome fears could hurt its car industry. The deal is due to be signed at an EU-South Korea summit in Brussels on Oct. 6 and will come into force from July 1, 2011. The agreement was a boost for the EU leaders at the start of a summit that was due to include potentially difficult discussion of efforts to reform budget rules to prevent a new sovereign debt crisis or another global credit crunch. Herman van Rompuy, the president of the Council of EU member states, was due to deliver a progress report on work done by a task force set up to improve economic policy coordination. The task force, headed by Van Rompuy and grouping EU finance ministers, is due to make its final recommendations on reforms at a summit in October and the Commission will make its own proposals on Sept 29.

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