Tasoiseach Sees Lisbon Solution In Sight

The Taoiseach says he's hopeful that a deal to save the Lisbon Treaty can be reached as high level talks continue between European leaders.

Ahead of next week's summit on the issue, Brian Cowen flies to London to meet the British Prime Minister, following his discussions the German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin yesterday.

Dr Merkel told Mr Cowen in Berlin last night that she was keeping an "open mind" on how best to resolve the Lisbon impasse.

"We trust the Irish Government is doing everything it can to move forward the European process," said Dr Merkel, and assured Mr Cowen that "Germany is prepared to work very closely with Ireland".

Mr Cowen is under pressure to come up with a solution after the failure of the Lisbon Treaty to be ratified by Irish voters in June.

The 'No' vote has left the European Union in a state of stagnation until the Lisbon Treaty is fully ratified by all 27 nations, or the arduously drawn up EU reform document is scrapped altogether.

The Taoiseach is jet setting around Europe discussing possibilities and probabilities with our EU neighbours to find a solution, the most likely of which is a re-vote next year, and a re-vamped marketing strategy to sell the treaty to the Irish public.

"Working closely with my colleagues within the European Council, I'm hopeful that we can identify the elements of an acceptable way forward next week," Mr Cowen said, referring to the EU summit in Brussels next Thursday and Friday.


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