BERLIN – Former Luxembourg prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker is insisting he's confident of becoming the next leader of the European Union's executive and says leaders shouldn't be "blackmailed" into rejecting him.
The conservative European People's Party, which campaigned for Juncker to become president of the European Commission, finished first in last week's European Parliament elections. Juncker told Sunday's Bild am Sonntag newspaper that he now has support from "a broad majority" of conservative and center-left leaders.
However, Juncker faces opposition from Britain and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose party is an EPP member, drew criticism at home for appearing cool toward him until she offered a clear endorsement Friday.
Juncker was quoted as saying "Europe must not be blackmailed" and added he's confident of being elected to head the Commission in mid-July.