Politicians react to the results of four days of polling for the European parliament, which left Eurosceptics toasting success and governing parties licking their wounds.
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder
We must continue this [German welfare reform] policy because it is objectively
necessary... There's no denying the bitterness of the defeat.
Czech Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla
The anti-integration parties won.
French opposition Socialist Jean-Marc Ayrault
This colourless government has no legitimacy any more and
common sense should lead [Prime Minister] Raffarin and his team to resign.
Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel
Any elections are about national politics.
Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot
Perhaps for many voters Brussels or Strasbourg is too far from their capitals... People are disappointed with their governments, not with the EU.
Robert Kilroy-Silk, victorious candidate for Britain's Euro-sceptic UK Independence Party
It is extremely patronising to suggest that people who voted
out of a very deep and clear conviction or commitment are wasting their vote or protesting....
We are the only party throughout the election that had a very clear, straightforward policy. We are the only party that talked about Europe and didn't actually tell any lies.
Livia Turco, member of Italy's opposition Olive Tree coalition
There has been a loss of consensus by the government... There has been an erosion.
European Parliament head Pat Cox
This is especially important as a wake-up call for those
leaders in those states who propose to hold referenda on the constitutional treaty.
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw
Part of the purpose of the draft constitutional treaty is
to make the European Union more efficient and more responsive... Across Europe, we have seen sitting governments receive significant protest votes against them.
David Harley, spokesman for European Parliament head, Pat Cox
It remains a disappointing, indeed pathetically low turnout.
Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski
[Voter apathy] is a disease we will have to look at, and analyse the reasons why we are so far from civic values.
Graham Watson, head of the European Liberal
Democrats grouping in the EU parliament
To a certain extent [voters in new EU member states are] tired of voting... But it reflects a certain disillusion with the way their countries are moving.