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New EU Parliament Chief Elected
International

New EU Parliament Chief Elected

Center-right politician Antonio Tajani was elected the new president of the European Parliament on Tuesday after defeating his socialist rival, a fellow Italian, in a daylong series of votes. The new speaker, 63, a former EU commissioner and an ally of former premier Silvio Berlusconi, succeeds German Social Democrat Martin Schulz at a time of crisis for the European Union, Reuters reported. Britain wants a divorce deal that needs the legislature’s blessing while old adversary Russia and old ally the United States both pose new threats to EU survivors holding together. Schulz’s tenure saw close cooperation with the center-right head of the EU executive, Jean-Claude Juncker, but ended with recriminations over the end of a left-right grand coalition. That could spell trouble for the smooth passage of EU laws on a range of issues. And the win for Tajani, who beat center-left leader and fellow Italian, Gianni Pittella, by 351 votes to 282 in a fourth-round runoff, gives the right a lock on three pivotal EU political institutions.

 

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