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Germany Demands More from Bulgaria, Romania

Date: 06.11.2006

Germany may demand extra measures from Romania and Bulgaria to improve their justice and home affairs standards prior to the planned EU admission in January.

Chancellor Angela Merkel had asked European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso to report to Berlin on whether both countries have cleaned up what she termed "deficits in interior and justice policies".

The statement was made at a news briefing with Romanian Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu, who is visiting Berlin.

"How the Commission reports to us ... will determine whether German demands any measures or not," said Merkel. She did not specify what steps Berlin might seek from Bucharest and Sofia, DPA reported.

Barroso will make his report in late December on the eve of the planned January 1, 2007 admission of Romania and Bulgaria to the currently EU25.

Last week Germany's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, voted in favour of allowing Romania and Bulgaria to join the EU. Angela Merkel said she was confident the Bundesrat upper house would do the same later this month.

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