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Italy PM says Juncker not the only candidate for EU Commission

LiveMint logoLiveMint 01-06-2014 Francesca Landini

Trento: Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said a political discussion was needed to decide who would be the next president of the European Commission and that Jean-Claude Juncker was not the only candidate.

Juncker, the former president of Luxembourg, was presented as the candidate to lead the Commission by the European People’s Party, which won the most seats in last week’s election for the European Parliament.

Centre-left leader Renzi, speaking at an economic conference in the northern Italian town of Trento on Sunday, said, however, that Juncker had no guaranteed majority and no automatic right to the job.

“Juncker is ‘one’ name for the Commission, but he is not ‘the’ name,” Renzi said, adding that it was far more important to focus on the political agenda of the Commission rather than who should get which jobs.

The European Commission president is selected by EU leaders but must be approved by the assembly, where Eurosceptics from the right made gains in last week’s election.

German news magazine Spiegel said on Saturday that British Prime Minister David Cameron had warned fellow EU leaders that if Juncker were elected to the job, he would no longer be able to ensure Britain’s continued membership in the European Union.

Renzi’s Democratic Party won more than 40% of the vote in Italy’s election for the European Parliament, making it by far the country’s largest party. Reuters

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