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Verhofstadt for European Commission president?

Published on 15/06/2004

15 June 2004

BRUSSELS –  Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt’s chances of becoming the next Commission President were looking increasingly good on Tuesday, according to certain press reports.

EU leaders should decide who will head the next Commission when they meet for talks in Brussels at the end of this week.

And according to The Financial Times Deutschland, Verhofstadt’s bid for the post is looking better and better.

The newspaper cited unnamed government sources as saying that the odds of Verhofstadt getting the job appear to have improved considerably now that he is the favourite candidate of both French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

Without naming names, Schroeder said during a French-German summit in Aachen that he remained convinced that EU presidency holder Ireland would make a “good proposal” that both Paris and Berlin would strive to enforce.

Chirac has previously said that Verhofstadt would make a “very good” Commission president.

But the Belgian Premier is by no means the only person who’s nale has been linked to the top EU job.

Irish Taioseach Bertie Ahern said Monday that he was not an official candidate though he would accept the post if he nominated by his fellow heads of state at an EU summit later this week in Brussels.

Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker also insists he is not an official candidate, though he still maintains a strong influence on Paris and Berlin since he is a Christian Democrat, which has the majority in the European Parliament.

The current Commission President, Romano Prodi, steps down in September.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject : Belgian news