Italy minister attacks Merkel's 'crippling' views

2014-05-12 14:50
German Chancellor Angela Merkel. (File, AFP)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel. (File, AFP) (Odd Anderson, AFP)

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Rome - German Chancellor Angela Merkel risks undermining upcoming elections for the European Parliament with her "crippling" and short-sighted views, Italy's junior minister for European Union affairs charged on Monday.

On the weekend, Merkel cast doubt on the notion that the leader of the pan-European party that will come out on top of the 22-25 May vote should automatically be picked as the next President of the European Commission.

"With just one sentence, [Merkel] has undermined the attempt to give voters an added reason, to encourage them to vote," Sandro Gozi said at an event in Rome hosted by the Accademia di studi storici Aldo Moro.

The indirect election of the commission president - a novelty - has been presented as a major step forward for EU democracy, and as a way to boost voters' interest in the European Parliament elections, which are typically marked by low turnout.

Gozi said that by casting doubt on that innovation, Merkel was guilty of "crippling political short-sightedness" towards the European project and of a "nationalistic conception" of EU politics.

On the weekend, the German leader said the next EU commission president could not be picked "on the Tuesday or Wednesday following the elections," suggesting that, as in the past, the decision would depend on behind-the-scenes haggling between EU leaders.
- SAPA
Read more on:    eu  |  angela merkel  |  italy  |  germany
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