Balkenende’s EU president chances shrink

Belgium’s prime minister Herman Van Rompuy is emerging as top candidate for the new job of president of the European council of ministers, ahead of Dutch prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende.

Most Dutch papers say on Tuesday Van Rompuy appears to enjoy universal support among EU leaders.
Balkenende is said to have opponents in eastern Europe, stemming from the Netherlands strict stand point on EU budgetary policy, the Telegraaf reports on Tuesday.
Balkenende is also said to have lost support because he does not speak French well enough, other papers said. And Nos tv reports Balkenende is considered ‘too Anglo Saxon’.
Balkenende has repeatedly said he is not a candidate for the job.

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