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Blair takes over EU helm

Tony Blair will take on the challenge of unravelling the twin crises over Europe's constitution and its stalled budget negotiations as Britain assumes the rotating EU presidency today.
The Prime Minister will mark the start of the UK's six months at the EU helm by holding talks in London with European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso and the other Brussels commissioners.

Mr Blair has already made clear his intention to use the period to push his campaign for reform of the EU finances and the system of lavish farm subsidies under the Common Agricultural Policy.