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Merkel to revive EU constitution issue

BERLIN, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced her intention to revive the mothballed EU constitution, The Times of London said.

Germany is to assume the rotating presidency of the union in January, and last week, Merkel summoned German diplomats in Europe to Berlin for a briefing on getting the mothballed project restarted, the newspaper said.

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In June 2004, the text of the constitution was approved, and it went to various national plebiscites. Last May, French voters rejected it, and a month later, voters in the Netherlands also opposed it.

However, Jan Techau, who heads the Oppenheim Center for European Analysis at the German Society for Foreign Policy, a leading think tank, said Merkel's chances for success are slim. He told the Times Germany has no significant ally in Europe for a constitutional revival and pointed out the razor-thin majority in Italy, French President Jacques Chirac's withdrawal of support and British Prime Minister Tony Blair being in his final months of office.

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