EU 25 reject Simitis committee proposal

A proposal by former Prime Minister Costas Simitis, sponsored by his successor, Costas Karamanlis, for the formation of a special EU committee to advertise the benefits of the European Constitution in all member states was rejected by Union members yesterday. Simitis, who according to press reports would not be adverse to assuming an office within the European Union, had tabled his proposal in a letter last month to Irish PM Bertie Ahern, when Ireland still held the rotating EU presidency. The socialist former PM had implied that he would like a seat on the committee «of personalities.» Yesterday, EU permanent representatives meeting in Brussels rejected the notion as unworkable and likely to further turn EU public opinion against the Constitution. Fifteen delegates came out against the idea, nine offered no opinion and Greece backed it.