Brussels, Holland in conflict over Kroes

The Netherlands is embroiled in a row with Brussels about which European commission job will go to the Dutch in the current portfolio shake-up, the Financieele Dagblad reports.

Prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende wants to send a fellow Christian Democrat to Brussels but European Liberals are keen to see a heavyweight like Neelie Kroes in the job, the paper says.
In addition, Balkenende is demanding either the internal market, trade, agriculture or justice commissioner posts, the paper says, quoting sources.
Dutch interests
While Balkenende has said Kroes is on his list of potential candidates cabinet sources say ministers are asking if the next Dutch commissioner should be someone who can better defend the Netherlands interests, the paper says.
CDA member Yvonne van Rooy, former junior economic affairs minister and current chairwoman of Utrecht University is being tipped as a potential candidate, the paper says.
However, Belgian Liberal Guy Verhofstadt is lobbying hard to get a Liberal into the top jobs, which would open up the way for Kroes.
Kroes, who is keen to have a second term on the commission, said earlier this month she would consider ‘another economic portfolio’.

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