THE HAGUE, June 28 (Xinhua) -- Mark Rutte is no candidate to succeed European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, the Dutch prime minister stated in Dutch newspaper NRC on Saturday.
"It's a rumor and it is not true," Rutte was quoted as saying by the newspaper. "I have a wonderful job. I am not a candidate, and I was not approached."
During a press briefing in The Hague on Friday, Vice Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher also said that a possible European Council presidency for Rutte was "nonsense."
Rutte and Asscher were reacting to news emerging in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica in which German Chancellor Angela Merkel was said to back Rutte as new president of the European Council.
Van Rompuy was selected as president by the members of the European Council in 2009. In March 2012, he was re-elected for a second and last term until Nov. 30, 2014.