EUROPE: THE GERMAN PEOPLE’S PARTY LEADER POETTERING APPOINTED PRESIDENT OF EU PARLIAMENT

” ” ” “"I would like to do my best to make the citizens understand our service to democracy and parliamentarianism": these are the first words uttered by Hans-Gert Poettering, the MEP and German People’s Party leader appointed at the first count as President of EU Parliament until the next election of June 2009. Poettering gained 450 votes out of the 689 valid votes (the ballots were 715, 26 of which were blank or spoiled). The other nominees were the Italian Monica Frassoni, joint president of the Green Party group (145 votes); the French leader of the Unitarian Left party, Francis Wurtz (48); the Danish president of the Independence and Democracy group, Jens-Peter Bonde (46). "Solidarity among the European peoples – he stated in his first, short speech to the floor – must be the guiding principle of our actions. Only by staying together can the peoples of the Union defend our values and our rights across the world". The newly-elected president – who received the unanimous applause of the floor both upon his installation and when he thanked his predecessor, Socialist Josep Borrell – will illustrate his work program during the next plenary session in Strasbourg on 13th February. The EU Parliament will now elect the 14 deputy presidents and the superintendents that will compose the "bureau" of the EU body.” ” ” “

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