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Saturday, 16 June 2007

Push for Blair as new EU president

Tony Bliar, the British prime monster, could end up swapping Downing Street for a job as the first full-time European Union president, under a plan being actively touted by Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president.

Mr Sarkozy is understood to have discussed the idea with other EU leaders ahead of next week’s European summit, Mr Blair’s last major international event as prime minister.

His support for Mr Blair taking on a big European job is a remarkable sign of Anglo-French rapprochement since Mr Sarkozy replaced Jacques Chirac as president last month.

German diplomats say Mr Sarkozy put his plan to Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, while EU officials say the French president has also touted his idea around other capitals, including Madrid. But the British prime minister remains unpopular with governments in countries such as Italy and Spain, which opposed the Iraq war. Mr Blair’s failure to take Britain into the euro will also count against him.