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Europe

French Premier Eyed EU Commission Post

Beleaguered French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin put himself forward for the post of President of the European Commission, according to news reports.

The French paper Le Monde stated that French Premier Jean-Pierre Raffarin proposed himself as the candidate for the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) in a telephone conversation with the joint-leader of the German opposition party, Angela Merkel in mid-June. Raffarin's desire for a European post has been confirmed by several sources, Le Monde said. The Prime Minister is under great domestic political pressure and is often seen as a scapegoat for recent electoral reverses at European and regional level. He offered to resign after the first round of regional elections earlier this year in which his party suffered an unprecedently large defeat. It is taken as read in French political circles that he will soon be replaced and is said to be preparing options for the future. (EUobserver.com)

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