Most commissioners have no difficulty in persuading the Parliament of their suitability but last week Rocco Buttiglione, the Italian named by Mr Barrosso to take the Justice and Security portfolio, unwisely chose to express his opinion that homosexuality is a sin, that a woman's role is to stay at home and have children under the protection of her husband, and that single mothers are bad parents. This might not have mattered greatly if he had not been given responsibility for Justice but as matters now stand the Parliament may decline to vote next Wednesday to approve Mr Buttiglione's appointment. Should this happen, the approval of all 25 commissioners will automatically be denied and Mr Barrosso will be unable to begin his work as President. For the moment Mr Buttiglione is sticking to his opinion and, surprisingly, Mr Barrosso is supporting him. Various compromises are being considered but time is short.
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