German MEP Martin Schulz campaigned to become European Commission president on a platform of ending backroom deals inside the EU.
But it was just that kind of agreement that saw him re-elected as the head of the European Parliament earlier on Tuesday.
The EPP struck the deal with Schulz’s centre-left Socialists and Democrats amid the horse-trading over the top Commission job.
But the pro-EU centre-right group rejected accusations of selling out after forming a grand coalition inside the parliament, including the liberals.
“That is first of all normal democratic behaviour, that we presented during the election campaign our ideas, our general direction and afterwards, when we see we have no majority, we have to come together,” said Manfred Weber, the new leader of the EPP.
It will be left to the Greens, the far-left and eurosceptic parties to provide the opposition to that coalition.
Some MEPs worry it will more of the same, especially more austerity.
“I think it’s difficult to establish forms of cooperation with Mr. Schulz, if he continues to work as he does right now. We will extend a hand, but the key to this helping hand is to end the politics of austerity,” said Pablo Iglesias, the leader of the EP’s far-left group.
Schulz ran against three other candidates.
He received 409 votes backing his return to the speaker’s chair.
314 were against, or left blank.