France's choice of European Commissioner has been strongly criticized by an influential opposition politician.
In an interview with Le Monde, Pierre Moscovici, a former European minister, said France had been given the relatively small portfolio of transport because of President Jacques Chirac's insistence on sending a loyal ally to Brussels. "Mr. Chirac made the mistake of not renaming a commissioner who enjoyed the esteem of everyone and who was a heavyweight in the previous commission," the Socialist politician said. Though France made a point of being pleased with the transport portfolio, it appeared to be the only one of the big countries that did not get an influential portfolio -- the UK has trade, the territory of France's previous European commissioner; Germany has industry; Italy has justice and home affairs and Spain has economic and monetary affairs. (EUobserver.com)