Europe split over best way to mark 50 years of, er, unity

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BRUSSELS -- Europe’s 50th birthday is fast approaching but nobody can agree what to write on the card.

A grand statement —- the Berlin declaration — is planned next month to commemorate the founding in 1957 of what is now the EU, but the 27 member states are increasingly divided about what to celebrate.

Luxembourg is pushing for a prominent mention of the euro as one of Europe’s greatest achievements. But this will not go down well in Britain and Denmark, where the single currency was rejected.

Poland and Italy want to emphasise Europe’s Christian values but are opposed by the French, who prefer to keep religion out of politics.

The Czechs and Poles want a strong statement on security but the French and Germans are worried that this will aggravate the Russians. Germany and Spain are keen to look ahead to a revived constitutional treaty, which is upsetting the Dutch and the British.

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