Hollande says no question of "diminishing" EU for Britain

GRENOBLE, France Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:29pm GMT

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GRENOBLE, France (Reuters) - There is no question of "diminishing" the European Union to allow Britain to stay in it, French President Francois Hollande said on Wednesday after British Prime Minister David Cameron demanded a radical reform of the EU and promised a referendum on Britain's membership.

"What I'll say, on behalf of France and as a European, is that it isn't possible to bargain over Europe to hold this referendum," Hollande said on a trip to the Alpine city of Grenoble.

"Europe must be taken as it is. We can help it evolve tomorrow, but we can't offer to reduce it or diminish it on the grounds of (Britain) staying in it."

(Reporting By Catherine Lagrange; Writing by John Irish; Editing by Kevin Liffey)


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