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EU parliament recognises Guaido as Venezuelan interim president
The European Parliament recognised Venezuela's self-declared interim president Juan Guaido as de facto head of state on Thursday (January 31), heightening international pressure on the OPEC member's socialist President Nicolas Maduro. EU lawmakers voted 439 in favour to 104 against, with 88 abstentions, to recognise Venezuelan congress head Guaido as interim leader. The president of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, urged the bloc's 28 governments as well as the EU's top diplomat Federica Mogherini to follow suit and consider Guaido "the only legitimate interim president" and ensure "a strong, unique, European position". Though frequently accusing Maduro of stifling democracy, the European Union is nervous at the precedent of a self-declaration, so has been reluctant to follow the United States and most Latin American nations with immediate recognition of Guaido. Britain, France, Germany and Spain said on Saturday (January 26), however, that they would recognise Guaido unless Maduro called elections within eight days. But the EU as a whole has not set a time limit in its call for a new presidential vote. Maduro has dismissed the demands as an unacceptable ultimatum from the corrupt elite of spent colonial powers.