She has been called the Iron Lady from the East. Could 71-year-old Vaira Vike-Freiberge, the former Latvian President become the President of the EU and end what some women argue is a male preserve.
Gender is not on her agenda, openness is as she explained: “Somewhat more transparency and openness would seem to be advisable, especially this being the first time that we are indulging this exercise, it would have been a wonderful opportunity to open up the process and to really answer to the needs and requests of citizens to be informed as to what happens in the higher corridors of power.” Were her words aimed at Sweden’s Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt? Sweden currently holds the rotating Presidency and in the run up to the ballot for the top jobs he has been criticised for his handling of the process. It now seems unlikely that Tony Blair will win the vote and take the presidency which he covets as backing has slipped for the former Prime Minister of Britain. David Milliband has ruled himself out of the race for a top job. Could Plan B for Blair’s supporters lead to Britain’s Foreign Minister having a change of heart? Massimo D’Alema has the backing of Silvio Berlusconi and the Socialist and Democratic Group in the European Parliament but as a former communist that will not endear him to the leaders of the EU’s ex-Soviet-bloc states. Former Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik is one of the contenders to become the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security pol