Paris...President Charles de Gaulle virtually vetoed Britain's early entry into the Common Market for the?
Paris...President Charles de Gaulle virtually vetoed Britain's early entry into the Common Market for the second time.
The 77-year-old French leader delivered his veto during a press conference attended by 1100 newsmen, diplomats and politicians at the Elysee Palace.
President de Gaulle, who said "no" to the first British application in 1963, made it clear that he considered Britain too weak economically to join the six-nation community at present. He said: "It will take a very long and very slow change for the British islands before they are tied up to the Continent."
During the course of his review of world affairs, the President served notice that he planned to serve out fully second seven year term of office, thus remaining French head-of-state for another five years.
It served to endorse the belief of observers that as long as President de Gaulle stays in office, he will not allow Britain to join the Common Market as a full member. But Britain has already rejected such French overtures as suggested by the President again, which offered Britain an associate membership with the "Six".
The President also had much to say on the role of the United States dollar as a reserve currency, warning that the monetary upheaval which forced the devaluation of the pound might also threaten the dollar. And, the President said he will press his drive to eliminate sterling and the dollar as world reserve currencies.
He did reject charges that France was responsible for the sterling crisis but insisted that gold alone should form the basis of international financial transactions.
He also lashed out at America's investment in Europe, terming the multi-billion dollar investment a means of bringing inflated dollars into Europe and thereby preventing it from developing its own potential.
On world affairs, the President hit out at Israel calling on it to quit territories occupied following the June war. The President while calling on Israel to withdraw, urged Arab recognition of Israel as part of an overall peace settlement.