Foes Mobilize to Block Blair as First Euro Prez

Iron support for US still rankles
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2008 3:14 AM CST
Foes Mobilize to Block Blair as First Euro Prez
German Chancellor Angela Merkel signs the EU's Treaty of Lisbon during a ceremony Thursday, Dec. 13 2007, at Lisbon's 16th century Jeronimos Monastery. Merkel is said to be opposed to making former British prime minister Tony Blair first European president.(AP Photo/Armando Franca)   (Associated Press)

Stiff opposition is mounting against the possibility of former British prime minister Tony Blair being named the first president of Europe. A "Stop Blair" website has been launched, and a cross-party caucus in the European parliament is forming to campaign against him. A new treaty about to be ratified creates the new position, although precisely what the job would entail remains unclear. Opposition to a Blair presidency is particularly fierce in Germany, reports the Guardian.

Britain is widely perceived as ambivalent toward the European Union, and Blair's iron support for the US still rankles. "The feeling here about Blair is that he never stuck his neck out for Europe," said a senior official in Brussels. "All the political risk he took was transatlantic, always towards Washington, never for Europe." (Read more Tony Blair stories.)

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