Gerhard Schr?der said yesterday that Europe had to choose between two versions of its future: one as a politically united continent able to hold its own in a globalized economy and the other as an enfeebled trading block.
“The core question is: which Europe do we want? Do we want a united Europe capable of acting, a real political union … or do we want to limit ourselves to being a large free-trade zone?”
Meantime Wolfgang Gerhardt, opposition Free Democratic party’s parliamentary leader and the man widely billed as Germany’s next foreign minister, said:
“he was ?not entirely unhappy about the outcome of this summit?. Had a budget been agreed, ?we could have ended with a money-sharing compromise that would have left 40 per cent of EU expenditures going to agriculture,? he said of last week’s acrimonious, and ultimately fruitless, talks“.
Gerhardt suggested this in an interview with the FT where he indicated that Germany should press France to accept cuts in European Union farm aid to ease a deal on the EU’s “controversial long-term budget”.