News World Macron proposes Atos chief as French EU commissioner

Macron proposes Atos chief as French EU commissioner

France has proposed Atos chief executive Thierry Breton as its candidate for head of industrial policy at the European Commission, President Emmanuel Macron’s office said on Thursday after his first choice was rejected by EU lawmakers.

Breton, who was France’s finance minister under late President Jacques Chirac, has been chief executive at technology group Atos since 2009 and led the turnaround of telecoms giant Orange in the early 2000s.

“He’s man of action who knows industrial issues inside out and who, while knowing Brussels institutions, will not have a bureaucratic approach to European issues, which is important for the president,” an Elysee official said.

Two weeks ago European lawmakers rejected Sylvie Goulard, Macron’s initial pick for European Commissioner, causing anger in Paris, where officials blamed German conservatives in the EU parliament.

Choosing a pro-European conservative will help to get the proposed appointment past the European People’s Party (EPP) in parliament, said Tara Varma, head of the Paris branch of the ECFR think-tank.

“His nomination shouldn’t be blocked by the EPP, which Macron couldn’t afford now,” she told Reuters. “It is probably the best tactical decision.”

The French leader, who is keen to preserve the huge portfolio he negotiated with incoming European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen, is looking to move on from what he called a “political crisis” and has sought assurances from her that the new candidate would be approved.

“The portfolio will remain unchanged,” the presidential aide said.

Each EU member state nominates a Commission candidate who must then pass a confirmation hearing in the European Parliament.

Despite his conservative background, Breton backed Macron during his 2017 campaign even before the first round of the presidential election.

“I appreciate, for Europe and all our fellow European citizens, the importance of the challenges associated with this portfolio for the future of our continent,” Breton told analysts in a call as he announced he would step down at Atos on Oct. 31.

Breton’s long career in the private sector is likely to come under scrutiny in the parliamentary hearings.

The Elysee said Breton had always recused himself as a minister whenever matters regarding the companies he worked with came on the government agenda and would certainly do the same in his new functions to avoid any conflict of interest.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Indian woman, 25, involved in Andrei Popa murder, jailed

Larnaca District Court sentenced a 25-year-old Indian woman, resident of Larnaca, involved in the Andrei Popa case to 45 days in prison on Monday. The...

Night clubs request that they reopen with no dance floor and no bar services

The Pancyprian Association of Nightclubs (PA.SY.KE.D.) addresses a last appeal to the Minister of Health, the Minister of Finance and the Deputy Minister of...

Fifteen new coronavirus cases detected out of 2,709 tests

The Ministry of Health has announced that 15 new cases of the SARS-CoV-II virus were detected in Cyprus over the past 24 hours out...

Households and businesses affected by Medicane Ianos to be compensated

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis promised the flood-stricken households and businesses of Karditsa that the government will stand at their side with "speed and determination",...

Workshop on forging synergies between industry and scientific research organised for Industry Week

A workshop was organised on Tuesday, in Nicosia, to discuss ways to forge synergies between industrial production and scientific research sectors, in a bid...

Taste

Souvlakia

Pork souvlaki: Put the meat and all the other ingredients in a bowl (not metal) and mix well. Cover the bowl and keep in...

Pastelli (Carob Toffee)

The nutritional sweet of Pastelli is made with the syrup of carob pods, produced by boiling their pulp until it forms a thick, sticky...

Meatballs with tomato and cumin

Place all meatball ingredients in a bowl and knead well with hands. Keep the mixture in the fridge for approximately 1 hour to thicken. In...

Crushed wheat pilaf with sausages and halloumi

Ingredients: 1 cup bulgar wheat ¼ of the cup vermicelli noodles or spaghetti, broken into small pieces 1 onion 2 sausages 1 cup tomato juice 1 vegetable stock cube 1/3 ts...