Green's reputation is dented by vote

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The Independent Online
AS BOASTS go it was a brazen one. Pauline Green, leader of the socialist group, yesterday claimed her share of the credit for having kicked the European Commission "in the backside".

Yet the MEPs who delivered the blow did it against her advice. And, while Ms Green tabled the initial censure motion against the Commission last month, her intention was to vote against it to give the 20 commissioners a vote of confidence.

This has not been a good week for the 50-year-old whose political tactics have backfired badly. Yesterday, she made public that she had no intention of standing for European Parliament president, which may be just as well.

Ms Green, who all week faced accusations of having connived in the survival plan of Jacques Santer, the Commission President, was seen in the bar of the Hilton Hotel in Strasbourg on Monday enjoying a drink with him. As she said, rather defensively, yesterday: "I was having a drink of water and he came in with his entourage and, of course, he sat down. But there was no suggestion of collusion in how things were handled."