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Barroso owes European Parliament an explanation - AD

In a letter to European Parliament president Martin Schultz, Alternattiva Demokratika's Arnold Cassola asks for Commission president's public grilling.

Staff Reporter
17 June 2013, 12:00am
José Manuel Barroso (right) and Martin Schultz
José Manuel Barroso (right) and Martin Schultz

Following former European Commissioner John Dalli's serious accusations that the EU's anti-fraud office, OLAF and tobacco company Swedish Match were "out to get him", Alternattiva Demokratika asked the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schultz, to invite Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso for an open hearing on the matter.

In a letter to European Parliament President Martin Schultz, Alternattiva Demokratika chairman Arnold Cassola said that Dalli made grave accusations.

"Any further refusal on the part of the Parliament Presidency to hold this hearing would be sending out the erroneous message to the people that the Presidency of the European Parliament also has something to hide," Cassola said.

Dalli was quoted as saying that OLAF and Swedish Match were out to get him because they knew that with him in office "there would be a tough tobacco directive, full stop."

The former PN minister also claimed that in 2011, Barroso had told him to go slow on the tobacco directive, because the Commission would face a lot of legal problems. 

However, Dalli said that he refused to go slow. "I had told him plainly that I had a political commitment to Europe's citizens, and that I was going ahead with the directive as a whole."

Dalli is also implying that Commission secretary-general Caterine Day had an interest in postponing the launch of the tobacco directive first from the original 22 August 2012 to September, and then to a second date and, finally, after his dismissal, to a third date.

In view of these serious allegations by John Dalli on entrapment involving a member and a high official of the Commission, the Green Party asked Schultz to organise a public hearing in Parliament with Jose Manuel Barroso, as demanded by Green MEPs Bove' and Staes.