BRUSSELS, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- The European Parliament approved a new slate of commissioners Tuesday in a delayed start of the new president's administration.
Jose Manuel Barroso, the new president of the European Commission, had struggled with one of his commissioner-nominees who provoked European parliamentarians irked at his overt Catholicism, particularly regarding homosexuality and the role of women.
Lawmakers spent Monday and Tuesday grilling Hungary's Laszlo Kovacs, Latvia's Andris Piebalgs and Italy's Franco Frattini, who replaced the controversial Rocco Buttiglione, eventually approving Barroso's new slate of commissioners.
Frattini told the panel that he would promote tolerance and uphold minority rights. At one stage the parliamentarians demanded to know if he was a member of the Freemason, an ancient Protestant sect.