|Vol 7, No.19, 10.5.01, p4
PARLIAMENT President Nicole Fontaine has refused to name a new envoy to send to Spain in the bid to resolve the row over Silvio Berlusconi's immunity, despite pressure from Socialists.
Fontaine says she still wants Marie Françoise Garaud to do the job, even though the French MEP has said she cannot make the trip in the immediate future.
Following the death of her husband, Garaud had to postpone plans to travel to Madrid to ask the Spanish authorities to resubmit their request for Berlusconi's immunity to be lifted.
Socialists want a new envoy to be named, but Fontaine says she will wait until Garaud is ready to do the job.
Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon wants to prosecute MEP Berlusconi for fraud in connection with his part- ownership of Spanish television channel Tele 5.
The stakes are high: Berlusconi is favourite to become Italy's next prime minister following general elections on Sunday (13 May).
A request from the Spanish courts for the waiving of his European Parliamentary immunity was initially rejected by Fontaine last summer, a move that Socialists heavily criticised.
The Parliament is now waiting for Spain to resubmit the request.
European Parliament President Nicole Fontaine has refused to name a new envoy to send to Spain in the bid to resolve the row over Silvio Berlusconi's immunity, despite pressure from Socialists.
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