20 March 2004

EU accord on anti-terrorism tsar

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | EU accord on anti-terrorism tsar:

Ian Black in Brussels
The Guardian

The EU is to appoint a senior anti-terrorism coordinator to foil attacks following last week's atrocity in Madrid.

David Blunkett, the home secretary, told colleagues at emergency talks in Brussels yesterday that the EU must 'stop the waffle' and implement practical measures to fight the bombers.

Ireland, in the union's rotating presidency, said last night that the post would be created within months.

But Britain, France and the other big countries gave short shrift to calls from Belgium and other members for an EU intelligence agency. Underlining the point, ministers from Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Spain met separately before the full meeting.

Nicolas Sarkozy, France's interior minister, said: 'We have the most important intelligence services and we are used to working together.' It was unrealistic to share classified information with 25 countries."

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