Controversy over Buttiglione continues

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Strasbourg The future EU Commission President Jose Manuel Durao Barroso gave in to pressure from the European Parliament on Wednesday and withdrew his last minute recruitment proposals to prevent a rejection. “I have decided not to submit a new commission for approval today,” Barroso said on Wednesday in an unprecedented pace just an hour before the scheduled vote in Strasbourg. The two largest groups, the Conservatives and Social Democrats, had previously signaled their willingness to agree to postpone the vote. Most recently, it became apparent that the commission might fail on the vote scheduled for this Wednesday. Many parliamentarians reject, above all, Italian Justice and Justice Commissioner Rocco Buttiglione for his views on homosexuality and the role of women. The Pope’s adviser and former Europe Minister of Italy had called homosexuality a sin.Italy wants to hold on to ButtiglioneThe Italian Government announced in the afternoon that it insisted on a Commissioner Buttiglione. “Italy sticks to Roccoo Buttiglione,” said Foreign Minister Franco Frattini on Wednesday after a Senate meeting in Rome, according to the news agency Ansa. The CSU MEP Ingo Friedrich complained that Buttiglione would be rejected only because of his commitment to Catholicism. This is an “intolerable intolerance” to the Christian faith, quoted afp. Friedrich called on the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, in the case of a new proposal again to present a personality, “which is similar to Buttiglione for the Christian-Western value foundation of Europe”.Representatives of the Social Democrats and Liberals, on the other hand, praised Barroso’s decision and again called for Buttiglione – if anything – to be assigned another post. The Lesbian and Gay Association in Germany (LSVD) welcomed the decision Barrosos: “The LSVD now expects from Barroso that he shows Buttiglione the red card and takes him finally off the field,” said LSVD spokesman Manfred Bruns. The Homo-Social Democrats also welcomed the decision: “In a modern, secular EU, the unbearable Catholic-fundamentalist statements of Buttiglione have lost nothing, and those who engage and do not vigorously counter this are not fit for the post of Commission President,” said Schwuso’s spokesman Jan Oswald. Of course, the open-minded FDP leader Guido Westerwelle also said: “I am glad that the Liberals, with their key role in the European Parliament, were decisive for the fact that Mr BARROSO today pulled the emergency brake in the interest of Europe five to twelve, he did that at two to twelve. “Prodi Commission remains in officeParliament’s Rules of Procedure provide that the vote on the Commission can be postponed until the next week of the session. This is scheduled for mid-November in Strasbourg. By 1 November, the Commission should have started work. The Dutch Presidency stated that the still-current EU Commission under Italian Romano Prodi will remain in office until further notice. (Nb)Act. Version, 27.10.2004, 17h

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