EU leaders fail to agree on top jobs, Angela Merkel’s full press conference

An all-out, all-night push by EU leaders to choose a new European Commission president ended without agreement on Monday, after conservatives rebelled against a plan to install Frans Timmermans, a social democrat, in the top job.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said today it was important to secure a decent-sized majority behind a package of top European Union jobs, and that all the eastern European Visegrad countries or Italy should not be overruled.

“To vote against the whole (Visegrad) group and then a country like Italy, that would be really difficult,” Merkel told a news conference in Brussels after EU leaders suspended a summit after failing to reach agreement on the bloc’s top jobs.

The Visegrad group comprises the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

“I don’t know if we’ll have unanimity,” she said, adding that the process should not create tensions that last for years.