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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 June, 2005, 11:29 GMT 12:29 UK
Barroso survives confidence vote
Jose Manuel Barroso
Jose Manuel Barroso denied any wrongdoing
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has survived a no-confidence vote over a holiday he took on a Greek billionaire's yacht.

The censure motion launched by Eurosceptic MEPs was rejected in the European Parliament by 589 votes to 35, with 35 abstentions.

The Eurosceptics had claimed Mr Barroso's yacht trip revealed a possible conflict of interest.

Mr Barroso condemned the censure motion as "gutter politics".

He said it was a media stunt aimed at undermining EU institutions, and launched ahead of the public referendums on the European Constitution in France and the Netherlands.

The 77 Eurosceptic MEPs said that a company owned by Mr Barroso's friend, the shipping magnate Spiros Latsis, had won commission approval for a 10m-euro (6.9m) state aid package following the holiday.

Holiday rights

Mr Barroso, who was not then Commission president, denied doing anything wrong.

The action was launched by the leader of Britain's Eurosceptic UK Independence Party (UKIP), Nigel Farage, after Mr Barroso refused to answer a parliamentary question on the holiday.

He said that a 16,000-euro Mediterranean cruise on a billionaire's yacht qualified as a gift.

Mr Barroso acknowledged spending time on board Mr Latsis' yacht owned, but argued it was his right to have holidays with friends and family.

The European Commission has a code of conduct for its commissioners which includes a public register of gifts worth more than 150 euros and declarations of interest.

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