IN SHORT

Slovakia: Ratification process must go on

IN SPITE of the negative results of the French and Dutch referendums on the EU Constitution, the ratification process should continue in the remaining 13 countries, Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič and Foreign Affairs Minister Eduard Kukan agreed on June 6.

Gašparovič plans to discuss the further course of the constitution in Slovakia with Premier Mikuláš Dzurinda, Parliamentary Chairman Pavol Hrušovský and Kukan, the TASR news agency wrote.

"Slovakia's foreign policy shouldn't be contradictory," Gašparovič told journalists. However, he does not expect a perfect meeting of minds, as Hrušovský, chairman of the Christian Democratic Movement, was against ratification from the beginning.

Gašparovič still has not signed the EU Constitution, which was ratified by the Slovak parliament on May 11. "I will definitely sign it, although it actually isn't very urgent now," he said.

According to him, EU leaders will have to decide what to do with this document at a summit on June 16-17 in Brussels. "They will have to choose one of a few possible alternatives."

Kukan thinks the continuation of the ratification process is justified. "If we are familiar with all the opinions of all 25 member states, it will be easier to make a final decision," he said. He does not consider Great Britain's recent decision to postpone the referendum indefinitely to be good news.

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