French minister says Barroso useless after row with EU

A French minister said Friday that Jose Manuel Barroso had achieved nothing as European Commission chief, in the latest attack in a bitter war of words between Paris and Brussels.

Asked if she thought Barroso had been a bad choice for the job, Trade Minister Nicole Bricq told LCI television: "I think so. I think he has done nothing during his term."

Harlem Desir, the head of France's ruling Socialist party, said the commission "ran contrary to the European dream," adding that the tiff between France and the body would run "until the next European elections are held."

Barroso was first elected to head the body in 2004 and re-elected in 2009 and his second term runs out in 2014. The next elections are due next May.

The row has its roots in France's bid to protect the European film and television industry from Hollywood dominance in free-trade talks with the United States, but has escalated into a broader dispute over the European project.

Barroso raised hackles in France for terming as "reactionary" Paris' bid to protect Europe's audiovisual sector.

Barroso on Monday accused France of using Europe as a "scapegoat" for troubles at home after French Industrial Renewal Minister Arnaud Montebourg accused him of fuelling the growth of the far right in France.