Friday, June 19, 2009

EU leaders back commission chief for new term

BRUSSELS (AFP) — EU leaders gave their backing Thursday to Jose Manuel Barroso to head the bloc's executive body for a second term but his nomination still faces a major hurdle at the European parliament.

"Jose Manuel Barroso received unanimous support. They clearly support his candidature as head of the European Commission," Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer said after chairing talks with his EU counterparts.

The conservative former Portuguese premier, whose five-year mandate ends at the end of October, was seen as the only viable candidate for what is currently the 27-nation bloc's most high-profile post.

"I am extremely proud of the unanimous support I have received," Barroso said, showing no obvious sign of elation. "More than proud. I am moved."

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