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Polish PM 'clear favourite' for EU top job

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 29.08.2014 09:26
According to media reports, Poland's PM Donald Tusk has emerged as a favourite to take over from Herman Van Rompuy as president of the European Council.

Donald Tusk with Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt: photo - PAP/Radek Pietruszka

“The Prime Minister will have to make a difficult decision,” Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska, spokeswoman for Tusk's centre-right Civic Platform, told Polish Radio on Friday morning, ahead of an EU summit at the weekend where national leaders will discuss who will take up the important roles of leader of the European Council and foreign policy chief.

"It's a very flattering position for Poland to be in," she said.

After months of denying that he was interested in the job, Donald Tusk is now thought to be considering accepting the role at the European Council following worsening developments in Ukraine.

"European leaders are increasingly strongly persuading Donald Tusk to assume the post of president of the European Council," Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska told Reuters on Thursday.

The news agency reports that “several sources familiar with the selection process” said Tusk has emerged as a clear favourite for one of the most influential roles in the EU.

"Van Rompuy is to call EU leaders today and if no one is opposed to Tusk there is a deal," a person involved in the process, speaking on condition of anonymity, has said.

One sticking point could be Poland's hawkish stance towards Russia, as Warsaw pushes for tougher sanctions against Moscow for its alleged role in the conflict in the east of the ex-Soviet state.

British PM David Cameron was the first to openly endorse Tusk as a candidate this week, when he said that Poland and the UK shared a desire to reform the EU.

Donald Tusk has been prime minister of Poland since Civic Platform won the 2007 general election and was re-elected in 2011.

The next scheduled parliamentary elections are due to take place in the autumn of 2015. (pg)

tags: Donald Tusk
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