Sarkozy Takes Turn At Helm Of European Union

French President Nicolas Sarkozy takes control of the European Union for the next six months.

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ARI SHAPIRO, host:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Ari Shapiro.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

The president of France adds a new title today, the president of the European Union, and Nicolas Sarkozy has already signaled he plans a few changes in his six-month stint. The new E.U. president went on live TV to lay out ambitious plans for high-profile issues like climate change and taxes - Sarkozy wants to cut them. And like everyone else, he's worried about the price of oil.

President NICOLAS SARKOZY (France, European Union): (Speaking foreign language).

MONTAGNE: Sarkozy says the primary cause for high oil prices is the fact that less oil is being produced, and he blames increasing demand from China and India and speculators in the market. This is a subject that's close to home for Sarkozy. French truck drivers have been protesting fuel prices for weeks. They continued their demonstrations yesterday by driving so slowly that they brought traffic to a near stand-still on highways around Paris.

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