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President Blair: Former PM set to become EU chief as Sarkozy battles to win him the post
Tony Blair is poised to become the first President of Europe after it was confirmed that French leader Nicolas Sarkozy is determined to help him win the post.
A senior aide to President Sarkozy told a private gathering of senior British and French politicians that he is to tell fellow EU leaders that Mr Blair is the only man who can help Europe stand up to the rest of the world.
The remark by Alain Minc, a key member of Mr Sarkozy’s inner circle, is the second French blow to Gordon Brown’s standing in two days, coming after Mr Sarkozy said Mr Brown’s decision to combat the recession by cutting VAT was a ‘mistake’.
Mr Minc, a political wheeler-dealer, entrepreneur and TV show host, was attending a meeting last month of the Franco British Colloque, a high-powered discussion group of British and French politicians, civil servants and opinion-formers.
Members are under orders not to reveal the confidential discussions, but The Mail on Sunday has established that Mr Minc used the meeting to win support for Mr Sarkozy’s campaign to ensure Mr Blair becomes the President of Europe.
The role is due to be created next year – but only if the EU’s controversial Lisbon Treaty is ratified in the autumn by Ireland and the Czech Republic, the two EU countries which have so far refused to do so.............
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