Top EU job rivals hold last TV debate before election

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Candidates for the Presidency of the next European Commission held the last televised debate on Thursday, before Europeans go to the polls next week.

In a multilingual 90 minute discussion held in the European Parliament in Brussels, candidates for the EU’s top job touched on the economic crisis, Ukraine, immigration and youth unemployment.

(…) What happened in Greece, is that a success that will be replicated or is it a Greek tragedy that must not be replicated anywhere else?”, said Candidate for the Party of the European Left Alexis Tsipras.

“I don’t think that we can spend more money than we have. We need to replace debt by ideas and by realising and achieving the Single digital market.’ said European People’s Party Candidate Jean-Claude Juncker.

The debate was broadcasted on 58 national and regional TV channels and web-streamed on 71 websites across EU member states.

This year’s European elections are the first to be held under the Lisbon Treaty, which grants the European Parliament the power to vote on the president of the European Commission.

“There will a Commission fighting against tax fraud, tax evasion and for employment and life chances especially for the young generation, that’s what I’m standing for and I ask the support for.” said Candidate for the Party of European Socialists Martin Schulz.

“(…) we need a European Union who is stronger and who can defend his model against China, against India, against the U.S., Europe is a chance to regain sovereignty for the people and our citizens.” said Candidate of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Guy Verhofstadt.

“We Greens and I we offer an alternative Europe, I’m fighting for Europe that cares about people, more than cares about banks.” said Candidate for the Green Party Ska Keller.

EU leaders are set to gather on May 27th, two days after the election, to discuss who will be the next president of the European Commission.

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