IN SHORT

Slovakia wants to keep sovereignty over taxation

SLOVAKIA will not agree to alter the EU decision-making process on social and tax matters from a unanimous to a qualified-majority system, Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda said following talks with French President Jacques Chirac in Paris on May 2.

But Dzurinda did agree to back Chirac's proposal to negotiate greater flexibility in EU decision-making in some areas at the forthcoming EU summit in June, the TASR news wire wrote.

Chirac suggested that discussions should continue on how EU countries should proceed in the absence of an EU constitution, the adoption of which was thwarted by failed referenda in France and the Netherlands last year.

Slovakia, which passed the draft version of the constitutional treaty in parliament, would be interested in such a debate, Dzurinda said.

Dzurinda thanked France for partially unlocking its labour market to workers from new member countries, including Slovakia, as of May 1.

Chirac, for his part, promised to visit Slovakia in the near future.

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