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Europe

Incoming Competition Chief Promises Impartiality

The Dutch commissioner designate on Tuesday spoke strongly in defense of her suitability to take on what is arguably the biggest job in the European Commission.

During a hearing before European Parliament, Neelie Kroes, who will take on the competition portfolio Nov. 1, dismissed accusations that her past business links would cause conflicts of interests by saying it's time to look to the future. Instead, her business experience would help her with her job Kroes said. "We demand impartiality in applying the rules, but we also want our referees to know the game inside out," she said. In response to other questions, Kroes also said there were "only a couple of cases" currently under EU investigation that could cause conflicts of interest for her. The hearings of the rest of the proposed commissioners will continue over the next 10 days and European parliamentarians will vote on whether to accept the whole team of commissioners at the end of November. (EUobserver.com)

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