The bluffer's briefing: Maastricht

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The Independent Online
Meaning of Maastricht: Ford over the river Maas (or Meuse).

Early history: Fortress town besieged by Spain in 1576 and 1579; by the Prince of Orange in 1632; by France in 1673, 1748 and 1794; and by Belgium in 1830. It capitulated to all except the Belgians.

Popular local song: 'Mestreech is eine grote kaffee' (Maastricht is one big pub).

Number of pubs in Maastricht: More than the days of the year.

Population: 115,000.

Other claims to fame: It was first Dutch town liberated in 1944; its sixth-century cathedral is the Netherlands' oldest church.

Proper name of Maastricht treaty: Treaty on European Union.

Articles not applying to the UK: 3a(2), 104c(1), (9) and (11), 105(1) to (5), 105a, 107, 108, 108a, 109, 109a(1) and (2)(b), 109l(4) and (5).

What does Article 104c(1) say?: Member states shall avoid excessive government deficits.

Percentage of Danes who voted against ratification: 50.7.

Why the area of the EC was halved in 1985: Greenland left.

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