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EU centre-left leaders back Juncker for top job

Jean-Claude Juncker delivers a speech during the announcement of the European elections results on May 25, 2014, at the European Parliament in BrusselsEuropean centre-left leaders on Saturday backed Jean-Claude Juncker’s contentious candidacy to head the EU’s executive body, setting the stage for a fiery Brussels summit later this week. After talks between nine EU Social Democratic leaders in Paris, French President Francois Hollande said they were supporting Juncker, cementing his spot as the frontrunner to replace Jose Manuel Barroso as European Commission head. Hollande said the leaders would “respect” the tradition that the largest grouping in the European Parliament nominates a candidate to head the commission, “in this case Mr. Juncker”. Juncker has been put forward by the centre-right European People’s Party, which won the most seats in a European Parliament vote last month that also saw strong gains for anti-EU parties.

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