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Updated: January 17, 2012 17:07 IST

German Schulz is elected EU Parliament chief

AP
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Germany's Martin Schulz reacts during the election of the European Parliament new president in Strasbourg, eastern France on Tuesday. Photo:AP
Germany's Martin Schulz reacts during the election of the European Parliament new president in Strasbourg, eastern France on Tuesday. Photo:AP

A German socialist known for his fiery rhetoric has been elected president of the European Parliament, promising to increase the role of the 27-nation legislature.

Martin Schulz replaces Poland’s Jerzy Buzek, who did not seek re-election. He handily defeated two British legislators Nirj Deva and Diana Wallis in the first round of balloting on Tuesday.

Mr. Schulz gained international prominence in 2003 when Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi called him an ideal choice for a Nazi concentration camp guard. Berlusconi was forced to apologize later.

The long-time socialist leader in the legislature, Mr. Schulz plans to use his new position to seek more European integration and more political power to help tackle the financial crisis.

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