The Times reports that controversy has arisen over the signing of the revised EU Constitution. It has been decided that the Treaty will be signed in Lisbon by all 27 EU leaders, and after a matter of hours in the Portuguese capital, the politicians will then reboard their planes and follow one another to Brussels, where by evening they will be sitting together again around a different table for the EU summit.
At a meeting of senior officials the Italians called for the whole summit to be held in Portugal. The Belgian representative reportedly replied: "No way", an EU diplomat said yesterday, "They could not have handled it worse -- just when we have got a treaty to improve the EU, we have to keep the Portuguese happy by signing in Lisbon and the Belgians happy by keeping the summit in Brussels". The newspaper has "conservatively calculated" that 135 tonnes of CO2 will be emitted as a result of the extra air travel, at a time when the EU claims to lead the world on targets to cut greenhouse gases. […]
A leader in the Times says "the freeby-bags for signatories should include a T-shirt inscribed: 'I flew to Lisbon and all I got was this lousy treaty.'"