S&D president says doubts exist over Dalli investigation and warns Tonio Borg - 'we don't need a second Rocco Buttiglione'.
Thursday 25 October 2012 - 13:07 by a Staff Reporter
Tonio Borg is commissioner-designate for health and consumer policy.
The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament have urged the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and European Commission to disclose all steps taken in the procedure and report that led to Health Commissioner Dalli's resignation last week.
Hannes Swoboda, President of the S&D Group, said: "There are serious doubts about the entire process that led to Mr Dalli's resignation. We demand that the involvement of OLAF and in particular the role and public appearances of its director general, Giovanni Kessler, be clarified immediately.
"Serious questions about a plot against Mr Dalli have been raised. These questions must be answered and there must be full transparency on the specific circumstances that led to his resignation. At the moment it seems like the situation may have been mishandled by the Commission President and by the director general of OLAF," Swodoba said.
"In the interests of preventing further doubts about the European Commission's work, it should publish the revision of the Tobacco Products Directive as soon as possible."
Speaking about the new candidate for Commissioner nominated by Malta, Tonio Borg, Swodoba added that regardless of the circumstances surrounding Dalli's resignation, "we will look carefully into the qualifications of his proposed successor. In view of some comments from Mr Borg on the rights of homosexuals we intend to question him closely on whether his views are compatible with Europe's fundamental values on civil liberties and non-discrimination.
"There has already been one case where the European Parliament rejected a candidate who could not convince MEPS of his readiness to accept basic European values. We do not need a second Rocco Buttiglione."
In a Facebook chat he held at 2:30pm on Thursday, Swoboda said that the European socialists would give Tonio Borg "a very severe but fair 'grilling'. For me it is clear, that he must accept and support the European values and fundamental rights."
Asked whether Borg's conservative views on homosexuality and divorce will be an issue, Swodoba replied: "Yes, certainly."