Tony Blair could be installed as Europe's first-ever president within weeks if Ireland, in voting today, approves the treaty creating the job. Nicolas Sarkozy believes Blair is the best man for the job, sources tell the Times. Angela Merkel initially believed the job should go to somebody from a country that has adopted the euro, but sources say the German leader will get behind Blair if Germany is offered some top jobs in the European Commission.
The Lisbon Treaty has already been ratified by 24 of the EU's 27 states. Remaining holdouts Poland and the Czech Republic are expected to fall into line quickly if Ireland votes yes. Blair's support is fairly solid in Europe, although he has denied that he is campaigning for the presidency. "There is no campaign," a Blair spokesman said in July. "As we have said time and again on this, there is nothing to be a candidate for since the job doesn't actually exist."