BRUSSELS -- There won't be enough time between European parliamentary elections and a move to confirm a new European Commission president, Socialist critics say.
Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, leader of the European Socialist Party and former Danish prime minister, told the French newspaper Le Monde over the weekend that a push by European Union heads of state to confirm a new EC president only a month after the June 4-7 elections doesn't allow enough time for debate, the European Observer reported.
"This does not give enough time for the new parliament to express itself," Rasmussen said. "The elections take place on June 7th. We would need a longer time afterwards."
Rasmussen's party opposes a new term for conservative Portuguese statesman Jose Manuel Barroso as the head of the European Commission. EU heads of state could decide at a June 18 summit if Barroso is to receive a second mandate, provided the center-right EPP-ED party keeps its majority in Parliament, the Observer said.
"(Barroso) will never represent the opinions of the Socialist family, even if some social-democratic governments back him, for national reasons," Rasmussen said. "But the Parliament has to have the last word after the elections."
Copyright © 2009, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.