Blair and Schröder “snub Persson”

As Göran Persson held court in Stockholm for all of Europe's labour parties, "the most important people" decided not to join the summit, according to Aftonbladet on Thursday.

Tony Blair and Gerhard Schröder were not at Thursday night’s dinner at Hotel Royal Viking in Stockholm.

The only excuse that has been given for the absence of Europe’s two leading leaders is that neither of them are actually chairmen of their parties. However, if Schröder and Blair thought the meeting was “important enough” they would have been there, said Aftonbladet.

The only “celebrities” attending the dinner are the Greek party leader Georgios Papandreou, his Norwegian peer Jesn Stoltenberg and the EU Commission’s first Vice Chairman Margot Wallström. The topic of the night’s conversation was apparently the “Lisbon strategy”, which endeavours to make EU the “world’s most competitive business region by 2010”.

But in the five years since the proposal of the strategy the EU has been sliding further behind the US. The aim of the EU Commission is to decrease the number of regions to be included in the project.

Thursday’s bash was a forum to discuss how to convince the opposition and the conservatives at the EU Summit in Brussels in a month’s time.

“That is when the decision will be made, and both Blair and Schröder will be there”, confirmed Aftonbladet.

Sources: Aftonbladet