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Europe

Verheugen Challenged on Super Commissioner Job

Enlargement commissioner Günter Verheugen, the man tipped to be super commissioner responsible for economics and industry in the next commission, has run into some unexpected competition.

Enlargement commissioner Günter Verheugen has been challenged for the job by Pavel Telicka, the Czech commissioner dealing with consumer issues. "I would be interested in the post as vice-president responsible for economy," Telicka told Financial Times Deutschland. His interest in the job comes despite the fact that Berlin is supposedly pushing to secure a German for the job as super commissioner; Verheugen has already been told he will be staying on in Brussels for another term. Speaking about the influence that both Paris and Berlin are trying to exercise on José Barroso, who is set to become the next Commission president, Telicka said: "The worse service that could be done to the [commission] president would be to tell him how his commission is supposed to be composed." For his part, Barroso has pledged not to cave into Franco-German demands. Speaking after his parliamentary hearings on Wednesday, the former Portuguese prime minister said "It's very important to have the collegiality of the team - to have a true team spirit - so I am not in a position to accept a name just because a head of government thinks it's the best name." (EUobserver.com)

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