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Group opposes EU's Lisbon treaty

RIGA, Latvia, April 14 (UPI) -- A group of Latvian human rights activists voiced opposition to the European Union's Lisbon treaty, which they say poses a risk to their country's sovereignty.

The initiative group "Go, defend Latvia" said Riga city authorities refused to accept its plan to stage a protest against the Lisbon treaty Tuesday during a visit by Jean-Paul Costa, president of the European court for human rights.

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The Treaty of Lisbon makes a number of EU technical changes, creates an EU presidency for a more cohesive international stance and makes the EU human rights charter legally binding on members.

In a press release, Olafs Brezinskis, of the "Go, defend Latvia" group, complained no referendum was held and the Riga government ratified the December 2007 Lisbon treaty without checking public opinion.

Brezinskis said Latvian Foreign Minister Maris Riekstins had declared debate about the Lisbon treaty was completed. But Brezinskis argued that a large part of the public is not aware the treaty could damage Latvian future and put at risks the country's sovereignty and self-determination rights.

Brezinskis said he supports Latvia's membership of the EU as an economic organization, but he wants to live in his own country – Latvia.

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