Tony Blair is angling to become Europe’s first president, the Guardian reports, but the former British PM wants to be assured the EU’s new top job will come with real authority on defense and trade. Blair, currently the Mideast envoy for the US, EU, UN, and Russia, has been meeting with allies and already has French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s support. The post as head of the EU Council will be filled next January.
Blair, however, hasn’t won Angela Merkel’s vote. The German chancellor’s party fears a Blair presidency might embolden her country’s opposition party. Neither Germany nor France would push for Blair if current British PM Gordon Brown opposed his appointment, the Guardian notes. Blair has been frustrated at his lack of authority to further Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.