bush as hitler, blair as chamberlain

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    EU anger over Blair 'wake up' call Nov 5 2004

    Prime Minister Tony Blair's call for Europe to wake up to the reality of George Bush's re-election as US President gained a frosty reception in Brussels.

    In a newspaper interview, Mr Blair accused fellow EU leaders of being in a "state of denial" over the second Bush term and urged them to forge closer trans-Atlantic relations, particularly over the rebuilding of Iraq.

    But French President Jacques Chirac countered that the EU needed to reinforce its own unity in a world which he said was increasingly divided.

    While the Prime Minister claimed to have detected a readiness among his European colleagues to rebuild bridges with Washington, Mr Chirac pointedly stressed the need to develop EU cohesion in a "multi-polar" world.

    "Europe today has more than ever the need, the necessity, to reinforce itself and its dynamism and unity," he said.

    "That is the goal of the constitution in a world that is more multi-polar than ever."

    Mr Chirac's comments will keep the heat up on a simmering row over Iraq, following the staunch opposition of European countries including France and Germany to last year's conflict.

    It had been thought likely that a Kerry victory in the November 2 US poll might have cleared the way for Paris and Berlin to take a more active role in Iraq, possibly even sending peacekeeping troops.

    But this seems a remote prospect following Mr Bush's re-election.

    Earlier, Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi criticised states which took a "spectator" role in the reconstruction of his country. He confirmed that his remarks were directed at France or Germany.

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