A 'George Washington' for Europe

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From January 2009, the European Union will have its own president to chair EU summits and unite the views of 27 member states. Former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing has described the top job as Europe's "own George Washington". The race for the presidency is likely to go down to the wire at the December 2008 summit of the European Council of leaders. Although a decision will be made by majority voting, the 27 member states will be hoping that a unity candidate comes forward.

This interactive webpage from BBC News offers profiles of the nine most discussed names:

  • Former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern
  • Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair
  • Former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez
  • Luxembourger Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker
  • Former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel
  • Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen
  • Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel
  • Former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt

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