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Next European Commission president must not rely on far-right support, Scholz warns

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, centre, and Portugal's Prime Minister Luis Montenegro walk during their meeting at the Federal Chancellery in Berlin, Friday, May 24, 2024.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, centre, and Portugal's Prime Minister Luis Montenegro walk during their meeting at the Federal Chancellery in Berlin, Friday, May 24, 2024. Copyright Christoph Soeder/(c) Copyright 2024, dpa (www.dpa.de). Alle Rechte vorbehalten
Copyright Christoph Soeder/(c) Copyright 2024, dpa (www.dpa.de). Alle Rechte vorbehalten
By Euronews with AP
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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned that the next president of the European Commission shouldn't seek support from far-right parties.

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz began his European election campaign on Friday, warning against the next president of the European Commission seeking backing from far-right parties, who were projected to make major gains in next month’s vote.

European left-leaning parties are urging mainstream conservatives and liberals to reject alliances with far-right parties following the European elections.

A major rightward swing could pose challenges for the next European Commission chief, who must secure approval from a majority in the new European Parliament. Leading the 27-bloc effectively might prove difficult with only support from its traditional political groupings.

“When the next European Commission is formed, it must not rest on the support of a parliamentary majority that also needs the support of right-wing extremists,” Scholz said after talks with his Portuguese counterpart Luis Montenegro in Berlin.

“I am very saddened by the ambiguity of some of the political statements that we have heard recently. But I am clear about this, and it will only be possible to establish a presidency of the European Commission that rests on the support of the traditional parties,” he said.

“Anything else would be a mistake for the future of Europe,” the German chancellor added.

Scholz, a Social Democrat who heads an unpopular progressive coalition in Germany, did not specify which statements he was referring to.

However, his words will likely be seen as a warning to current European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

She is a member of Germany’s main opposition, Christian Democrats, and is expected to seek a second term. She has also refused to rule out working with some members of far-right parties.

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