Alternattiva Demokratika says nomination of Tonio Borg as EU Commissioner is irresponsible due to his stance on human and civil rights.http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/en/newsdetails/news/national/AD-sceptical-over-nomination-of-Tonio-Borg-20121030
National Tuesday 30 October 2012 - 12:30 by Bianca Caruana
AD says Tonio Borg's problematic past, with his homophobic declarations and attitude toward migrants, is incompatible with EU norms
Alternattiva Demokratika said that the European Greens have expressed their scepticism on supporting Tonio Borg’s nomination for EU Commissioner due to issues regarding human rights and civil rights.
AD Chairman Michael Briguglio said that Borg had good virtues such as being a “clean politician” and effective Minister for Foreign Affairs but his stance on issues such as LGBT rights were not compatible with policies in modern European democracies.
“AD is being clear and honest and the Green opposition to his nomination is on the grounds of principle and not on partisan manoeuvres,” Briguglio said.
Asked who AD would nominate in Borg’s stead, Briguglio was hesitant in naming specific persons. “It would be best to have someone with consensual policies which represent the EU’s democratic norms.”
However, AD spokesperson on EU and International Affairs Arnold Cassola said that had they been consulted, they would have “gladly” given names. “We would have proposed the names of both political and non-political persons. The problem is that naming specific persons would be a sure way of not have them nominated at all.”
Cassola said that it was “irresponsible” of Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi to nominate the most controversial of candidates for his “egoistic need” to solve internal Nationalist Party problems and get a new deputy leader.
“On the other hand, Joseph Muscat’s Labour Party has acted as a real hypocrite since it says it supports Tonio Borg in Malta but did not raise any objection when the European Socialists’ leader Hannes Swoboda publicly declared that they ‘do not want another Buttiglione’,” Cassola said.
Contrary to this, Cassola said AD was clear and immediately point out Borg’s “problematic past, with his homophobic declarations and attitude toward migrants”.
“We did this so he could properly prepare his explanations for European Parliament sitting on 13 November. The reality today is that the Greens, Socialists and Liberals in the European Parliament have strong reservations about his past declarations but it is now up to him to prepare himself to answer the questions in a satisfactory way,” Cassola said.
Cassola concluded by calling on Borg to immediately push through the tobacco directive as prepared by former EU Commissioner for Malta John Dalli, should he be accepted as Commissioner. “He should not delay it to give advantage to the tobacco lobby.”