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Former Luxembourg PM Juncker wins endorsement for European Commission president

Published on Jul 15, 2014 9:01 PM
 
Luxembourg's former conservative premier Jean-Claude Juncker won the endorsement on Tuesday of the European Parliament to become president of the powerful European Commission for the next five years. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

STRASBOURG, France (AFP) - Luxembourg's former conservative premier Jean-Claude Juncker won the endorsement on Tuesday of the European Parliament to become president of the powerful European Commission for the next five years.

Despite sharp opposition from Britain and Hungary, Mr Juncker had been put up as a candidate for the job by 26 of the European Union's 28 leaders, but needed a majority of at least 376 votes in Parliament to take up the post.

He mustered 422 votes in favour - with 250 votes against, 47 abstentions and 10 spoiled ballots - which was a little short of the 480 lawmakers that make up the three mains groups, the conservatives, the social-democrats and the liberals.

Ahead of the ballot, Mr Juncker made a heartfelt plea to revive both Europe's economy and spirit as he laid out his vision for the future. "Europe has lost much of its credibility, the gap between the European Union and its citizens has grown," he said.

 
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