Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Romania welcome new EU treaty deal

The four Balkan members of the EU — Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece and Romania — issued separate statements welcoming Saturday’s (June 23rd) draft agreement on the outline of a new EU treaty. In 2005, France and the Netherlands rejected a proposed constitution for the bloc, triggering one of the worst political crises in EU history. Following hours of intense negotiations, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced early on Saturday that a deal had been reached and the bloc could move forward with formal negotiations. Under the new draft treaty, an EU foreign minister would be selected, as would a permanent president of the EU Council. In addition, the current EU voting system would continue until 2014.Later Saturday, Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis described the deal as a crucial step forward for the EU. Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, Romanian Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu and Bulgarian Minister of EU Affairs Gergana Grancharova also welcomed the accord on behalf of their governments.

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