NEWS

Paris talks on Union future

Prime Minister Costas Simitis met yesterday with French President Jacques Chirac and Valery Giscard d’Estaing, who heads the Convention on the Future of Europe, and discussed efforts to agree on an EU constitution at the Thessaloniki summit on June 20-21. Simitis was in Paris on his tour of EU capitals ahead of the summit. Simitis and Chirac stressed that they wanted a compromise to be reached at Thessaloniki, which would form the framework for discussions at the Convention. «We will do all we can to help,» Chirac said. «We are counting on the age-old Greek wisdom for inspiration,» he added in remarks brimming with praise for the Greek EU presidency. Separately, the team drawing up the constitution announced progress. This includes a long-term president instead of the six-month rotating presidency. «We think this agreement could form the basis for a final consensus,» Giscard d’Estaing told a news conference.