Any excuse for a party

Series Title
Series Details 21/12/95, Volume 1, Number 14
Publication Date 21/12/1995
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Date: 21/12/1995

There were more than a few niggles amongst EU leaders in Madrid, with French President Jacques Chirac sulkily refusing to have anything to do with Italian plans for a Turin launch of the Intergovernmental Conference at the end of March.

As the merits of a March 29 celebratory inauguration were discussed over coffee and biscuits, Chirac, who had just been rebuffed over the name of the Ecu, huffily declared that he wouldn't be there in any case on that date because he had better things to do and would be on a visit to “the other side of the globe”.

There were mutterings about calling the whole thing off.

“Oh no, you can't do that,” declared a cheery Belgian Premier Jean-Luc Dehaene. “We can't miss the opportunity of celebrating John Major's birthday.”

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