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The Likelihood that Italy’s nominee as the new EU Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security will take up his post has become extremely unlikely, with the European Parliament forcing a withdrawal of the entire new European Commission, which was due to start work on 1 November.
Existing Commission president Romano Prodi and his existing commissioners will remain as caretakers until the political crisis can be resolved. Discussions will focus on Italian right-winger Rocco Buttiglione, who outraged MEPs at his European Parliament hearing this month by referring to homosexuals as sinners. He followed this up later with comments that single mothers were “bad people”.
With the parliament’s socialist group refusing to confirm a new Commission with Buttiglione as Justice Commissioner, president-elect José Manuel Barroso withdrew his nominees to consult with EU heads of government on 29 October. This could involve removing other proposed commissioners criticised by the parliament, such as the Netherlands’ Competition Commissioner-designate Neelie Kroes, who is accused of harbouring too many business interests.