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06 10 30 - Romanian senator withdraws EU bid
Romanian senator withdraws EU bid
Romanian senator withdraws EU bid Varujan Vosganian (file image)

Vosganian failed to get the EU chief's backing
Varujan Vosganian has withdrawn his bid to be omania's new European Union commissioner after failing to win backing from EU officials.

Mr Vosganian, 48, who sits in the Senate, denied allegations of links to the former secret police.

But he said he withdrew to prevent damage Romania's image. Prime Minister Calin Tariceanu had accepted Mr Vosganian's decision, a spokesman said.

Romania and Bulgaria are due to join the European Union in January 2007.

On Friday, Bulgaria's Minister for Europe Meglena Kuneva was approved as Bulgaria's new EU commissioner.


But after meeting European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on Thursday, Mr Vosganian returned to Bucharest without being officially nominated by him.

The Socialist group in the European Parliament, which must approve Mr Barroso's nominations for commissioners, had expressed doubt about his credentials.

They said they wanted to further explore Mr Vosganian's "acceptance of European standards and European values".

Mr Vosganian announced his decision in a press conference in the Romanian capital, Bucharest.

"Although the accusations against me are baseless, the examination of my candidacy may be prolonged, and that could damage Romania's image," he said.

Government spokeswoman Oana Marinescu said Mr Tariceanu would consult Mr Barroso and then put forward a new candidate.


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