EUROPE – The European Commission’s social affairs and employment commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou is to abstain from her duties to become a candidate in the Greek elections.

The Commission said that Diamantopoulou had been asked by her political party to head PASOK's State Ballot List for the forthcoming Greek parliamentary elections.

Commission president Romano Prodi has given his agreement for her to abstain from her duties during the campaign, during which she will not receive any pay from the Commission.

She would be replaced for this period by environment commissioner Margot Wallstrom.