Spain approves EU's Lisbon treaty

Lower house votes overwhelmingly in favour, two weeks after Ireland's rejection.

    Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Spain's prime minister,  had backed the treaty [EPA]

    The move threw the bloc into crisis as it must be ratified by all 27 member states to come into force.

    Senate vote

    The treaty now goes to Spain's upper house, the Senate, where it is expected to be formally ratified.

    The Senate vote had been planned for late September or early October.

    But Miguel Angel Moratinos, Spain's foreign minister, said it could be moved up to July, before the legislators take their summer break, so the treaty "can be ratified as soon as possible".

    Spain is one of seven EU states that have still to approve the treaty via the parliamentary route.

    The Irish vote dominated a summit in Brussels last week and EU leaders have asked Brian Cowen, the Irish prime minister, to report back in October on what he thinks are the best options.

    Other than Ireland, the Czech Republic is the member state which could still cause the biggest problem for the ratification process.

    The country's upper house has taken the matter to the constitutional court, which is to rule on whether the text conforms to national laws.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Senegal's village of women

    Senegal's village of women

    Women in northeast Senegal are using solar-powered irrigation to farm food and halt the encroaching desert.

    Inside Baltimore's human trafficking industry

    Inside Baltimore's human trafficking industry

    Survivors of sex trafficking and those who investigate it in the city share their stories.

    A tale of two isolations

    A tale of two isolations

    More than 1,000km apart, a filmmaker and the subject of his film contend with the methods and meanings of solitude.