(Bloomberg) -- France’s European Affairs Minister Amelie de Montchalin says “as far as she knows” German Chancellor Angela Merkel isn’t a candidate to lead the EU Commission.

  • In an interview with Radio Classique, Montchalin plays down comments by President Emmanuel Macron in an interview with Swiss tv, where he said he’d support Merkel if she wanted the job
  • “The interviewer just noted that Merkel fit the criteria and the President agreed, but many people fit the criteria, and from what I understand she isn’t a candidate. When she leaves office she doesn’t want another political job”
  • Montchalin says France isn’t necessarily opposed to Manfred Weber as head of the commission but opposes Spitzenkandidat system; “What we don’t want is automaticity, but if the parties in parliament say we are ready to form a coalition and the person we propose is Manfred Weber, then we are ready to take a look”
  • Asked about Michel Barnier, Montchalin says: “If he brings a consensus to the members of parliament, and the heads of government think he has the profile, then he’s a good candidate. There are others, there is Mrs. (Margrethe) Vestager, there Mrs. (Kristalina) Georgieva, thers is Mr. (Frans) Timmermans. We can make a long list of people many French haven’t heard of but who are convinced Europeans”
  • “We are not looking for a flag or carrying out a beauty contest, but someone who can carry the European project”: Montchalin
  • NOTE: Macron Says He Would Back Merkel for EU Post ‘If She Wants It’

To contact the reporter on this story: Gregory Viscusi in Paris at gviscusi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Sills at bsills@bloomberg.net, Vidya Root

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