Blair emerges front-runner to become first permanent president of EU

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London, Apr 5 (ANI): Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has emerged as the front-runner to become the first permanent president of the European Union.

Blair has stepped up his campaign for the job, which he wants to use to build a bridge between Europe and the new Barack Obama Administration, The Independent reported.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has accepted that Blair should be in pole position for the appointment; on the basis that Britain needs to have a key figure in the architecture of the new world order.

"He [Brown] will have to swallow hard to sit down in meetings once again with Blair. But he accepts that there needs to be someone from the UK in the new global architecture. There is no opposition to the plan. Things have moved on, people have moved on," a senior British official said.

Other European leaders are also broadly supportive because they want a high-profile figure to represent the 27-nation bloc in the new alliance with the US.

After initially trying to block Blair as a possible candidate last year, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has thrown his weight behind the former prime minister.

But Blair's plans could still be scuppered if Angela Merkel loses the German general election in September. She is thought to have a strong desire for the job in the event of defeat. (ANI)

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