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Europe

Greens to Vote Against New Commission

The European Parliament's Greens have said that they will reject the Commission as a whole during a key vote next week.

At a meeting on Wednesday, the Green group unanimously decided to vote against the incoming Commission led by Jose Barroso. Meeting on the fringes of a conference in Istanbul, the group, which has 42 of the 732 MEPs, decided that six of the proposed Commissioners where not suitable for their posts. Isabelle Zerrouk, a spokesperson for the Greens said that three of the would-be Commissioners were deemed "incompetent": Stavros Dimas (Greece, Environment), László Kovacs (Hungary, Energy) and Ingrida Udre (Latvia, Tax and Customs). According to the Greens, Mariann Fischer Boel and Neelie Kroes -- the Danish and Dutch Commissioners -- who are due to take up the Agriculture and Competition portfolios both have conflicting business interests, and are also not suitable. The group furthermore, decided to oppose, for political reasons, the nomination of Rocco Buttiglione, the controversial Italian conservative who earlier this month said being gay was a sin. Zerrouk said that the group would ask for a vote on individual commissioners at the European Parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg next week. Under EU rules, the parliament only votes on the commission as a whole with only two options, reject or approve. However, the Greens hope an inter-institutional agreement set up by Commission President Romano Prodi will pave the way for a vote on individual Commissioners. The Greens also say that they will try and use anti-discrimination articles in the new EU constitution to oppose some members, such as Buttiglione. (EUobserver.com)

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