Reality intrudes on EC summit euphoria

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The Independent Online
DESPITE the acclaim and celebration that surrounded the Edinburgh summit, doubt still hung yesterday over two of the most important issues facing the EC - Denmark and Gatt, writes Andrew Marshall.

It is not clear that Denmark will ratify the Maastricht treaty, despite the opt-outs cemented at the weekend. An opinion poll in the Danish daily Berlingske Tidende suggested 54 per cent of Danes would vote in favour of the new deal in a referendum. Similiar polls were released in Denmark days before Danes voted down the treaty. According to the survey, 23 per cent are opposed and the same percentage undecided. Poul Schluter, the Prime Minister, yesterday said the date for a second referendum would be agreed late next month.

France said it would block an agreement on world trade because it could not accept a US-EC farm deal. The French Foreign Minister, Roland Dumas, said Paris 'did not intend to let European agriculture, French farmers, be sacrificed'. A French official said Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain supported France.