World Business: Moving on Tiptoe Toward Ties

The man who wasn't there, Charles de Gaulle, also dominated the deliberations of Europe's other trade bloc last week. Meeting in Copenhagen, the seven members of the European Free Trade Association—Britain, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria and Portugal—argued over how hotly to pursue their long-range goat of closer trade ties with the Common Market. The big question: Would a major effort only backfire by stirring the French to cause more trouble inside the European Economic Community?

Nobody lobbied harder for a full-dress conference of the two trade groups than the Danes. Foreign Minister Per Haekkerup hopped from table to table at luxurious...

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