Berlusconi ally named for top EU transport job

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A lawmaker close to Silvio Berlusconi has been nominated as Italy’s man in the European Commission following the departure of Franco Frattini to join Berlusconi’s new government, the Commission said.

Antonio Tajani, the head of Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party in the European Parliament, was designated EU Transport Commissioner and not assigned the justice and migration post Frattini held before becoming Italy’s foreign minister this week.

Some members of the European Parliament had expressed concern about a Berlusconi appointee taking over the justice and migration job, after recent outspoken comments by the Italian prime minister on tackling illegal immigration.

That job will go to the EU’s current Transport Commissioner, France’s Jacques Barrot, according to an EC statement published late on Thursday.