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Home arrow newsitems arrow Cyprus' Election Boosts Conservatives, while also Welcoming New Parties + Citizens' movements

Cyprus' Election Boosts Conservatives, while also Welcoming New Parties + Citizens' movements

Written by ACM
Sunday, 22 May 2016

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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- The Governing in Cyprus Center-Right, ChristianDemocrat/EPP Party "DISY", (of President Nicos Anastasiades), not only came anew First in the Parliamentary 2016 National Elections, (Confirming most of the Popular Support it had Gained between 2011-2013), but it also Succeeded Now to Augment its Lead vis a vis the Second Party, AKEL of the Left, which it Distances in 2016 with More than + 5,02%, instead of just + 1,5% Back on the Previous, 2011 Election, (with almost 31% against 25% Now, instead of just 34,2% against 32,7% in the Past, respectively). The Third Party, DIKO's Centrists, remain at almost 15% (See Infra).

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Considering the Fact that Cyprus is due to take over, this year,  Paneuropean CoE's rotating Presidency for the period of November 2016 - May 2017, and it has just assumed the Important Responsibility to Chair CoE''s Ministerial Committee's Human Rights meetings, crucial for ECHR Judgement's Implementation, as New Vide-President since May 18, (i.e. more than 22 Years after its Previous CoE Presidency, back on 1994-1995 ; See "Eurofora" co-Founder's rfelevant Publications, then, via PIO/CNA, etc), even the Internal Political Developments in that Strategicaly located EU-Member Country, (added to the Sensitivity of the so-called International "Cyprus' Issue" vis a vis mainly Turkey), have, Today, an increasing Interest for large European Circles. (F.ex., Russian MEPs' eventual Return into CoE's Assembly is due to be Negotiated apparently during Cyprus' Presidency of Strasbourg's PanEuropean Organisation. While even ways to overcome the recent Aggravation of Human Rights and Democratic principles' Violations by Turkey may be examined also during that same period, since the Current, Estonian CoE's rotating Chairmanship, from May to November 2016, independently of its Efficiency, would probably Not have Enough Time to Settle all these matters). 

+ In addition, from a European Union perspective, Cyprus' DISY is tha Only Governing Party in the EU, which had to Implement a particularly Harsh, Austerity Program, but Succeeded to Get Out of that "Memorandum" supported by the EU, with the Economy Starting anew to Grow and Unemployment to Fall repeatedly, while, at the Same Time, it Consolidated its 1st Place, even with a Bigger Distance than before vis a vis all Other Parties, rightfuly observed its current Leader, Experienced former Minister, Averof Neofytou.  - EU (and €uroZone) Member "Cyprus is becoming a Succes Story", and its "People .. who Suffered", "should be Proud", stressed earlier the PanEuropean President of ChristianDemocrat/EPP Parties, Joseph Daul, who had Visited recently the Island, and met with with Anastasiades and Neofytou, dealing also with the Political Issue and the Talks for ReUnification with the Part still Occupied by Turkey's Military since the Invasion of 1974.
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However, President Anastasiades (who remains in Power until 2018), pointed at an exceptionaly augmented Abstention, (more than 33%, which is Unprecedented in Cyprus). Participation Fell indeed, from more than 78% back on 2011, to about 66% on 2016. A Higher level had been reached with 82% in the 2013 Presidential Election, which Evicted AKEL's Hristofias and was brillantly Won by Anastasiades, as a logic Aftermath of the unprecedented Popular Uprisings, since July 2011, against Hristofias' controversial and unpopular latest dealings on the National Political Issue of Cyprus, on Economy and on the scandal of the Deadly Explosions of Confiscated Arms inialy destinated to Syria via a Foreign Ship, added to various Denunciations for alleged Discriminations and/or AntiDemocratic Behavior against Dissident Journalists by some of his main but inexperienced assistants, etc., (See, f.ex. : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/cypruspeopleaskchristofiastoresign.html ).      


Indeed, Added to a + 12% More Abstentionists in 2016, compared to 2011, (Comp. Supra), anOther Unprecedented Novelty is the Emergence of a kind of "3rd Pole" composed by a Record High Number of various New Parties, and/or Newcomers at the Parliament, (i.e. who Won Now enough Votes in order to get Elected MPs for the 1st Time), Totaling about 25 % of the casted Votes.


On the Contrary, almost All the Mainstream and Pre-Existing Parties now Lose more or less of their Past Voters : The Worst Losses affect the main Opposition's Party AKEL (Left), with - 7 % Less, (while former President Hristofias' controversial former Spokesman, Stefanou, after Falling ...Last, at the 5th Rank, in the latest, 2015 Internal AKEL Elections for AKEL's central Committe, is Now even Bypassed by AnOther MP of his Party, Mrs Irini Haralampidou, who gets + 2.000 More Votes, as Local Media pointed out),  but also the Socialists and even the Center-Right DISY Party, with a Loss of almost or more than - 3 %, respectively,  followed by the Centrist Party of DIKO (led by the Son of former President Tassos Papadopoulos, Nicolas), which Limits its Losses Only to - 1,3%, (Surprising Pollsters who hadn't foreseen that it would manage to Stay at 14,5 %).


But the brand New Parties of "Citizens' Alliance" and of "Solidarity Movement", (created by former "DISY" MEP at EU Parliament, where she is still Member, Helen Theocharous, one among the most Popular MEPs in terms of Votes),  Win, for the First Time, More than 6 % and 5,23 % of Votes, respectively.  They are closely Followed by the Pre-Existing, but Doubling their Votes, Parties of the "Greens" with "Allied Citizens", and the Rightists of "ELAM" ("National Popular Front"), who Both Win + 2,6% More Votes Now (on 2016), than what they had in the Past (2011), Reaching up to a Total of 4,81% and 3,71% respectively. Ten Other, much Smaller, various Tiny New Parties, gather, All Together, almost 3% of the Votes, but don't have enough in order to be represented in the Parliament this time, remaining without any MP.           

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From a purely Political point of view, the Main Thrust of those "Newcomer" MPs, clearly points towards the Right side of the Political Spectrum : "Solidarity" Party's Leader, Theocharous, always was, and still is, a ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP, (formerly of DISY Party), well known in Strasbourg, and even, notoriously, considered to Support more "Conservative" Values than the average Center-Right MP. But, probably, the Most Important Development, in this regard, is the Entry into Cyprus' Parliament, for the 1st Time in the History of the Country, of 2 Representatives from the Rightist, "ELAM" Party, ("National Popular Front"), considered to stand near Greece's "Golden Dawn" controversial Rightist Party. Even at an entirely Different register, the Experienced, long-time Leader of the "Greens" and "Allied Citizens"'  Party, Georges Perdikis, is not only an Ecologist, but also a consequent Political Fighter for the National cause of Cyprus, particularly for respect of Human Rights, and of the Unity and Sovereignity of the Country. So that, despite their Differences, Most of those "New" Forces could forge some unexpected Political Convergences on certain Key points, at least as far as tha National Issue of Cyprs is concerned, (Comp. Supra). Something Similar might, eventualy, occur even as far as it concerns the Leader of the "Alliance of Citizens" New Party, former Foreign Minister, (and former Candidate to the Presidential Elections), Georges Lillekas, (See Infra). Meanwhile, the Fact that Outgoing MP Nikos Koutsou had earlier chosen to Join that "Alliance of Citizens", indicates also possible Right-wing componentsd, at least partly.

But the Greatest "Novelty" in these, May 2016, Elections, obviously is, for Cyprus, the Multifacet Emergence of an Unprecedented Importance of the various roles that "Citizens" can play in nowdays Political Life. This New Phenomenon might have some Similarities, but, in fact, seems completely Different from that of "Ciutadinos"' Liberals in Spain, and/or from the "Freie Bürger" Rightists in Germany's mainly local/Regional Elections, since in Cyprus it stems from the unprecedented July-August 2011 Popular Uprisings against Hristofias' controversial Behavior then, (Comp. Supra), which had affected several victims, bringing Together the Legitimate Reactions of Socio-Politicaly Various kinds of People, woth from the Left and the Right sides of the Political Spectrum. They are Present in Today's Elections, from at least 3 concrete points of view : First, thanks to the Succes of the "Citizens Alliance" Party, which Won more than 6% of the Votes. Second, by the Bew Coalition between "Greens" and "Allied Citizens", which Won amùpst 5% pf Votes. Third, by President Anastasiades' particuliar stance vis a vis Citizens' active participation in the Political Life : After an Initial Intervention, already back on July 2011, to Condemn former President Hristofias' Order for the Police to Brutaly Disperse Thousands of Protestors gathered, Each Day, in front of an Entry to the Presidentual Palace's garden, and Defend Citizens' Right to Peacefuly (even if Criticaly and Loudly) and Massively Protest, Anastasiades also Included in his Political Program, a long series of Institutional and Legislative Reforms for Transparency and Accountability of Public Administration, Fight against Corruption, Consultation of legitimately Concerned Citizens, etc., which were added also to the Appointments of several Persons who have played a notable role in Citizens' Movements, at various Posts of Responsibility, (etc). One may say that he has become, after July 2011 Events, the Most "Citizen-Friendly" President in the History of the Republic of Cyprus, (despite Hard Problems to resolve and/or some unavoidable Errors, etc). A Big Change, compared to his own, Previous Political career, which Started since the July 2011 Events, and evolved further during and after the February 2013 Presidential Elections until now, adding to the overall emergence of Citizens' Movements in the Political Life of Cyprus, (Comp. Supra).


Last, but not least : Is, really, the above mentioned Diminution of the Left (mainly AKEL, and, to a Lesser extend, also Socialists, etc), a General and quasi-Structural Phenomenon, at least for this period of Time, or, rather, a Consequence of certain Errors committed, particularly on 2011, by former President Hristofias and some of his assistants, (including for eventual Abuse and/or Corruption accusations, etc) ?


It's Difficult to say, especialy since these are often InterRelated Factors. But several Converging Facts seem to indicate that the 2nd Hypothesis might contain a Large part of Truth : Indeed, as Cyprus' Media immediately observed, it's Mainly at Hristofias' own, former long-time Constituency, Kyrenia, (Occupied by the Turkish Army, and notorious Base of some among the Most politicaly Active Greek Cypriot Refugees), that AKEL marks the Heaviest Losses, Falling Down more than - 10 %. Moreover, his controversial former Spokesman, Stefanou, is Bypassed Today by a Simple MP as Mrs Irini Haralampidou, who takes +2.000 Votes More. This is Added also to the Fact, that, just 1 Year earlier, on 2016, Stefanou reportedly came Last, (Fifth among Five Candidates), even in AKEL's Internal Elections of Members of its Central Committee. On the Contrary, the current Leader of AKEL, Andros Kyprianou, might Not bear the main Responsibility for his Party's Heavy Losses in 2016, since, in the Previous Parliamentary Elections, Back on May 2011, when he Also Headed AKEL, on the Contrary, it Won + 1,4% and 1 MP more, apparently Because that Vote had taken place BEFORE the Heaviest Errors of Hristofias and of some of his Assistants Started to Aggravate and/or be Revealed to a Larger Public, particularly since the Beginning of July 2011, which notoriously led to an Unprecedented in the History of Cyprus, Popular uprise, (including, f.ex., by Daily Mass Demonstrations out of the Presidential Palace, attempts for Impeachment, etc), which  Boosted the Right side of Cyprus' Political Spectrum and various Forms of New "Citizens"' Movementts, (Comp. Supra).

 

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Meanwhile, it seems that one among the most frequently recurrent Questions in Cyprus' Internal Politics, i.e., with Whom the Centrist Party "DIKO" might become Ally in order to forge an Absolute Majority, Both immediately, f;ex. for the Vote of the Annual Budget and/or other Important Drafts in the National Parliament, but also, Later-on, in the forthcoming Presidential Elections of 2018, has already Started to be Raised, in real Practice : A clear Indication appeared to be, among others, also an unusual Photo of DIKO's current Leader, Nikolas Papadopoulos, Surrounded by DISY's Leader Averof Neofytou, as well as DISY's Top MEP Stella Kyriakidou, (Head of Cyprus' Delegation to CoE's Assembly in Strasbourg, where she currently Chairs its Committee of Social Affairs, and who has just Won a Record High Number of Votes in the Constituency of Capital City Nicosia), and Speaking with the first, during the Official Anouncement, at the Ministry of Interior, of the Final Results of the present Parliamentary Election of May 2016. Curiously, Neofytou, current leader of Cyprus' Biggest Party, that or DISY, (who had, apparently, taken the Initiative for that Inter-Party Dialogue), exceptionaly, didn't Wear his Tie, as also his Other Collegue, the Leader of the Small but Growing Party of the "Greens"+"Allied Citizens", Georges Perdikis, ho was standing however, Far Away)....


 - "The New Parliament (2016-2021) will be called to take Crucial and Important Decisions for the Future of our Country", both on the Political, Cyprus' Issue, and on Economic and Social Affairs, stressed, in substance, President Anastasiades, in an Official Written Statement shortly after the Anouncement of the main Results.                               

 

(../..)


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("DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora's Subsribers/Donors. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be published asap).
 
 
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3 EU Parliament votes to boost EuroGroup !

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After EuroZone Paris Summit's succes, Sarkozy calls to "think anew how to re-construct Europe !

"EuroZone and EU Institutional debates pave the way to 2009 discussions on EU Future, including Enlargment, Turkey etc. ?


23 October 2008

After EU Parliament strongly suppported in 3 successive Votes this week in Strasbourg French EU Chairmanship's move to boost Euro-Group at EU's core, while ideas on EU Institutional problems are awaited on December, "it's an open Question now" if this may lead to a debate on EU's Future, or not, told us French President, Nicolas Sarkozy''s Spokesman, Pierre-Jerome Henin.

MEPs voted on Thursday fresh Funds to support EuroGroup, after adopting on Wednesday a Resolution asking a "further Evolution" to "the 1st ever meeting of Heads of State and of Government of the Euro-Zone, taking decisions in that capacity", while earlier this week a Report asked "a stronger Institutional setting" for "EuroGroup", extended from "competitiveness/industry" to "environment, employment and education", with "increased powers for Political decision-making", according to a text drafted by French MEP Francoise Beres and German MEP Werner Langen, "10 Years after the creation of Euro" (1999 - 2009).

- Brussels' subsequent "EU Council ..(simply)..ratified the measures decided by EuroGroup on October 12" in Paris, which "were necessary to contain the current Financial Crisis", Resolution observes, expressing also support to the new process succesfully initiated by Sarkozy and due to be completed by agreements with USA and other countries at a Global level.

From now on, it's between two differend but parallel moves : EU's delay, and EuroZone's acceleration, that Enlargement and particularly Turkey's controversial EU bid, will have to search its way :

Indeed, EU's 27 expect a "Roadmap on how to deal with the Irish problem" on Lisbon Treaty ratification after December, risking to pass even 2009 Elections and next Commission with the old Nice Treaty of 2000, out-dated and unfit even for 2004's Enlargement...

On the contrary, EU's core launches a real "Economic Governance for EuroZone at the highest level of Heads of State/Government" of the 15, which started in Paris on October 12 and was strongly supported this week in Strasbourg by Sarkozy and EU Parliament.
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- "It's a good idea, to launch such a debate ("on EU's Future") in EU Parliament in view of 2009 Euro-Election : Perhaps some MEPs will seize an opportunity", told us mainstream French MEP Alain Lamassoure, former EU Minister and EU Spokesman for France's governing party UMP.

- "All MEPs' debates on such EU Councils are also part of the larger debate on Europe's future : Now with EuroZone, and even more when, on December, Irish Prime Minister is due to table proposals in Strasbourg on how to deal with EU Treaty's ratification", replied earlier to our question EU Parliament's Press Director and Spokesman, Jaume Duch.
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Sarkozy has formally anounced his intention to open EU Debates on Economy, Identity/Enlargement (i.e. mainly Turkey), etc. both linked to a popular Political view of Europe, since his Historic speeches on EU in Strasbourg, on February and July 2007, when he stressed that "Europe needs a New Renaissance". At the beginning of the French EU Presidency, on July 2008, replying to a MEP, he suggested that EU Parliament takes an active part in Debates on EU's Future.

- Now, in 2008, "Crisis are an opportunity to re-think how to re-construct Europe", Sarkozy stressed. At any case, the Historic 1st EuroZone Summit of Heads of State/Government, which started replying to the Financial crisis,"is a Turning Point : After that, Europe cannot be governed as before, but differently" : People "like a Europe with Strong Will".

- "We must make the System move !", "Europe needs Innovation" and free political debates. EU "Elections are in a few Months", Sarkozy warned.

He invited EU Parliament to fully play its role as "the Democratic Heart of the Europe we want : United, Independent and Voluntarist, because the World needs Europe's voice".

- "It's no more possible for Euro-Zone to continue without an Economic Government" at the Highest Level of Heads of State/Government, who provide "Democratic Legitimity" and can take important decisions, he announced, strongly supported by EU Parliament's Economic Committee which just voted to boost the "Institutional" aspects of "EuroGroup".

Plasticity offered by the current absence of a special Treaty on EuroZone's Institutions "made it easy to adapt the organization of the 1st Summit with imagination, to efficiently meet urgent needs", he observed, on the occasion of Brittish Prime Minister's exceptionnal presence at the greatest part of EuroGroup's Paris Summit.

- "In EuroZone we have the same Bank, the same Money, and, thus, a same duty for Unity" : "By bringing together EuroGroup's 15 members States we suceeded to find a solution and prepare a Giant Plan of 1.800 Billion euros", Sarkozy reminded of Paris' 1st Historic EuroZone's Summit.

Afterwards, Brussels' EU Council followed the move, and USA's Paulson II Plan was inspired from that. "Europe must promote the idea of Global Economy's Refoundation", he stressed.

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- "I was frankly astonished when I found, at the EU, a rigid system, where any New Idea was seen from the outset as a sacrilege, while, on the contrary, Europe needs Innovation !", he described.

F.ex. ,"'When we first spoke about the "Union for the Mediterranean", it was misunderstood as something extraordinary.. When later we had the Russia -Georgia crisis, it seemed against EU's custom to act "in the middle of August", instead of staying a passive spectator ! And when, in front of the Financial ciris, we gathered the 1st EuroZone Summit of the "15", some thought of it as a lese-majesté", he denounced.
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On Geo-Political Principles :
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- But, by moving resolutely, "EU obtained the ...withdrawal of Occupation Troops in 2 Months !", reminded Sarkozy, observing that Russia "fulfilled its commitments", in the Georgian crisis, where a "disroportionate reaction" from Moscow followed a "totally inappropriate action" from Tbilisi's troops. "It would be crazy to reply by military means : EU should not become accomplice of another Cold War, imposed by lack of cool heads".. as he said.

In future, "the creation of a common European Economic Area with EU and Russia, would also obtain a raprochment on our Human Rights and Democratic Values", added Sarkozy, in a statement which should logically be applied, a fortiori, to controversial EU "candidate" Turkey..

Particularly when, the same week that EU Parliament voted 2009 EU Funds for Turkey's controversial EU bid, ECHR took a series of judgements condemning Turkey for grave Violations of Human Rights, such as : Torture, death of a political prisoner in unclear circumstances followed by failure to conduct a proper Investigation, "enforced Disappearance" of a youngster aged 17, Killing of a sepherd with Tank Shells, persecuting Journalists for articles on "Missing" People, even a former President of Human Rights' Association, (etc)

- "We (EU) can defend our ideas on respect of Sovereignity and territorial Integrity, on Human Rights and other differences ... without confrontation", Sarkozy stressed, on the occasion of Russian/Georgian conflict, reminding that : "we were only 2 steps from catastroph", when a Peace agreement brokered in Moscow prevented, at the last minute, Russian troops' advance towards Tbilisi.

An EU Parliament Resolution adopted Wednesday in Strasbourg on the occasion of Russia - Georgia conflict, outlines a set of Principle which apply elsewhere too, (particularly when EU Rapporteur for Russia and Turkey is one and same person ; Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijtanen !)

Clearly rejecting any "military solution to the conflicts", MEPs "condemn ..all those who resorted to force and violence". They denounce a "disproportionate military action", "as well as (an) unilateral decision to recognise the independence" of brekaway regions, "calling.. to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity" of the concerned country, "and the inviolability of its borders recognised by all EU Member States". They warn that "EU must review its policy towards" a 3rd Country, "should .(it)...not comply with its commitments", and "stress that the withdrawal of.... troops from the areas ....is an essential additional step".

EU Parliament "calls for the safe and quick return of refugees, (accepted by Russian President Medvedev) accompanied by the deployment of EU observers on the ground", and "regrets ...that ..EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) is not allowed to enter the ...breakaway regions". Moreover, "It's important to ensure that persons and NGOs ..engaged in defending human and civil rights can operate". "Until ...all remaining issues (are) resolved..., and notably the continuing ...Military presence", "relations with the EU ..cannot be fully normalised", MEPS warned.

As nobody likes to be accused to practice "Double Standards", this should be regarded as "Principles" applicable to any Third Country at EU's Neighborhood.. No ?

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On Economy :

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- "When Financial crisis shook US and EU's Banks, without result from the 1st (American) Paulsen plan, it was the common reply of the 1st EuroZone's Summit, involving some 1800 Billion euros, which started a positive move in the markets, soon strengthened by the follow-up of the US Paulson 2 Plan, noted Sarkozy.

- "Europe should not be only on the defensive, but, if necessary, know also how to take an offensive", he said, brushing away hesitationsto act on Economy: - "I'm for a refondation of Capitaliism, but against Speculators, who betray its values" : "Lack of Rules was profitable to speculators, Not to businessmen !" We must make sure to prevent any such crisis in future". "We, the rest of the World, cannot continue to bear the deficits of the 1st World power without saying anything !", the French President said, applauded by EU Parliament. All this needs "a New Global Governance", on which EU Parliament must debate. That's why "we proposed together with USA, several Summits from mid-November", to which G-8, enlarged to China, India a.o. countries, should participate. UNO's SG; Ban Ki Moon, the IMF, etc.

Financial crisis lowered shares' prices even for healthy companies, sometimes to 1/3 of their initial price, so that strangers might buy EU industries for only a portion of their real value, and Europeans may wake up one day with their main industries sold out to foreigners !

That's one of the reasons for which EU should debate about creating "Golden Shares" for States to jointly take Strategic participations to help European Industries until the end of the Crisis, particularly against distording competition, he suggested, pointing at USA's 35 billion $ plan for American Car Industry."We shall struggle for Europe to be able to build Airplanes, Ships, Trains, Cars, because we need a strong Industry", he concluded.

"F.ex. as we did back in 2004, when as Finance Minister, we bought Alsthom's shares for 800.000 euros, and, after restructuring, we sold them for 2 Millions : Help a company and make money is not so bad"...

As for the UK, "when Ireland announced that it would guarantee only Irish Banks, London City emptied from liquidities in 24 hours : It's the EU which helped to restore the situation, Not the UK alone !", reminded Sarkozy to nationalist British MEP Nigel Farage.

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On the contrary, in a last-minute attempt for the EU to catch-up with its Institutional delay "before the European Elections" of June 2009, MEPs simply voted a call for a "set of proposals" to be made for the "Irish public opinion" at the end of the year...

- "As long as Lisbon Treaty is not ratified by all 27 EU Member States, there is an unanimous decision to stop Enlargement, reminded Wednesday in Strasbourg the French Minister for EU affairs, Jean-Pierre Jouyet..

Added to an indirect but clear warning that, without Lisbon Treaty, all 27 EU Member Countries may not have a Commissioner in the 2009 resuffle, MEPS in the Constitutional/Foreign affairs Committees applauded hoping that this might motivate their Irish friends..

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