Back
- or -
Email
Password
Sorry, we couldn't find those details.
Enter your email address:
Sorry, we couldn't find that email.
Register with MaltaToday now
Register below to start posting comments, receive SMS news alerts and subscribe to our newsletter.
or enter your details manually below...
First Name:
Last Name:
Email:
Password:
Hometown:
Birthday:
Sorry, we couldn't find that email.

[WATCH] ‘Borg would have been a fantastic leader… a couple of decades ago’ – MEP

Liberal MEP who said Tonio Borg was unfit for the post of commissioner says his track record showed he was not a political leader which Europe needs.

Matthew Vella
27 November 2012, 12:00am
Swedish Liberal MEP Cecilia Wikström (Photo: Ray Attard/Mediatoday)


Video by Ray Attard
Report by Joanna Demarco




Cecilia Wikström, the Liberal Swedish MEP who had dubbed Tonio Borg "a dinosaur that does not belong in our modern world" when the former foreign minister was nominated for the post of EU Commissioner, has reiterated her stand that Borg's personal political standpoints did not make himfit for the post of health and consumers affairs policy Commissioner.

"In the middle of an economical, social and political crisis in Europe, what we need to have are very strong political leaders, who have a vision for the future, where to go, and how to create a solution that is sustainable," Wikström told MaltaToday in a short interview while on a 24-hour visit to Malta for an asylum law conference.

"Tonio Borg's track record showed that he is not a political leader which Europe needs... he does not give us hope for the future," the MEP, a vicar of the Church of Sweden, said.

"Borg is a very well known politician with a high education [who] would have been a fantastic leader of Europe a couple of decades ago," Wikström said, pointing out that his conservative beliefs might put him at loggerheads with several aspects of his portfolio.

"Had Borg's portfolio been on something else, like fisheries, culture, higher education or even the internal market, he would have been a wonderful commissioner.

"Since Borg's portfolio deals with rights and the choices people make, I think this is going to be complicated for him," Wikström said, mentioning as an example, sexual and reproductive health rights that would include the provision of safe and legal abortion for women.

Asked whether Borg's commitment to respect the EU Treaties was good a guarantee enough for the commissioner not to allow his personal beliefs to interfere with his work, Wikström said this was not necessarily sufficient.

"I'm not here to judge... [but] it is not sufficient to say that 'I will stick to the Treaties'. We need somebody to take one step further and to be pro-active.

"Every politician is here to serve the people, whatever the circumstances in life are, and never to rule them - to give legal proposals and then to legislate in accordance to people's needs".

As an example, Wikström pointed out how several MPs and ministers still voted against the divorce law that was approved in the 2011 referendum. "This is something that I could not even think about [comprehend]."

Wikström, a rapporteur on a revised regulation for the Dublin convention - the asylum law convention - was in Malta for an asylum conference. "A good solution for refugees seeking asylum in Europe is that it is treated as a European issue and not a national one."

"The Dublin regulation is the 'cornerstone' of the Common European Asylum System... we need to see increased solidarity, and help each other in times of difficulties."



Matthew Vella is editor of MaltaToday.com.mt.

After graduating in a...

brian farrugia
The lady is not aware of the Maltese trait; we try to please at all costs,even if we seem to hypocritical and grovelers.
Louise Vella
Hear! Hear! Cecilia! When illegal immigration is treated as a European problem, then everybody will realise that Malta's population is 1300 per sq km and Sweden's only 20. There are vast expanses of empty spaces in Sweden and all illegal immigrants want to go there because it's a rich country with one of the best social security systems in the world. When Sweden starts taking its fair share of African illegal immigrants (and not just immigrants from Finland and Denmark) then they will have a right to preach to us.
Joe Borg
Don't fall into the 'them against us' mentality. When it comes to fighting for your rights - you the reader are on your own. I never heard Tonio fight for anyone's rights except those of his own. So i will be damn if i think that an insult to Tonio is an insult to me. This is the true face of the world - outside the cocoon of lies and misinformation that we have been brought up in. Some of the blogs below are a discredit to those who wrote them ... insult to Maltese? I tell you what was the insult- Tonio accepting the pay check and dropping his principles without hesitation - after having opened his gob so many times when he thought the target audience was Maltese. I suppose as always the conservatives in Malta are happy to work with two standards - one for Maltese and one for the rest of the world!
Martin Bezzina Wettinger
The Swede's do not like Dr.Borg because probably and hpoefully he will not liberalise Snus.
Louise Vella
"A good solution for refugees seeking asylum in Europe is that it is treated as a European issue and not a national one.The Dublin regulation is the 'cornerstone' of the Common European Asylum System... we need to see increased solidarity, and help each other in times of difficulties." Hear! Hear! Cecilia! When illegal immigration is treated as a European problem, then everybody will realise that Malta's population is 1300 per sq km and Sweden's only 20. There are vast expanses of empty spaces in Sweden and all illegal immigrants want to go there because it's a rich country with one of the best social security systems in the world. When Sweden starts taking its fair share of African illegal immigrants (and not just immigrants from Finland and Denmark) then they will have a right to preach to us.
Victor Formosa
No wonder the Church of Sweden is in a mess. With pastors like Wikstrom who needs a church! Certainly, this is not the face of Europe I voted to be part of.
Gwakkin
@castor..........you are joking right ???!!! "Christian family values to guide our lives and the way we live each other" ???!!! Ma tridx tkellimni minn hawn u ftit gimghat ohra hux meta tibda il-kampanja elettorali u tibda hierga il-hdura fost il-Maltin!!! And yes, judging by the totally off the mark comments by the usual bigoted conservatives commenting on this newspaper's website, our beloved little island could do with a lesson or two from people like Ms.Wolkstrom......people who cherish fundamental rights and people who make a clear distinction between state and relgion.
George Borg
Can't these fundamentalist socialists keep quiet for 5 minutes. Is it either their way or no way? Let us be Cecilia. I , for one, am proud of, and fully endorse Dr. Tonio Borg's beliefs. Viva Malta Libera! Viva l-Lemin!
Louise Vella
"A good solution for refugees seeking asylum in Europe is that it is treated as a European issue and not a national one.The Dublin regulation is the 'cornerstone' of the Common European Asylum System... we need to see increased solidarity, and help each other in times of difficulties." Hear! Hear! Cecilia! When illegal immigration is treated as a European problem, then everybody will realise that Malta's population is 1300 per sq km and Sweden's only 20. There are vast expanses of empty spaces in Sweden and all illegal immigrants want to go there because it's a rich country with one of the best social security systems in the world. When Sweden starts taking its fair share of African illegal immigrants (and not just immigrants from Finland and Denmark) then they will have a right to preach to us.
Chris Cassar Torreggiani
What an arrogant statement by Ms Wikstrom. Thank God that as Maltese we still have our Christian family values to guide our lives and the way we live with each other. We do not need any lessons from a modern liberal like Ms Wikstrom. Her values stand for nothing. Europe has a Christian heritage built on true values that mean something.
Louise Vella
"A good solution for refugees seeking asylum in Europe is that it is treated as a European issue and not a national one.The Dublin regulation is the 'cornerstone' of the Common European Asylum System... we need to see increased solidarity, and help each other in times of difficulties." Hear! Hear! Cecilia! When illegal immigration is treated as a European problem, then everybody will realise that Malta's population is 1300 per sq km and Sweden's only 20. There are vast expanses of empty spaces in Sweden and all illegal immigrants want to go there because it's a rich country with one of the best social security systems in the world. When Sweden starts taking its fair share of African illegal immigrants (and not just immigrants from Finland and Denmark) then they will have a right to preach to us.
John Inguanez
If Dr Borg is a dinosaur because he is against abortion, then the great majority of the Maltese are dinosaurs. Ms Wikström is offending the Maltese. And by the way. Ms Wikström who said that aborition (the killing of an innocent being) is a right????? Do you have aright to express your ideas and beliefs and then Dr Borg has not this right? Is this the Europe you want???
Kikku
There must be some mistake in the headline, Borg would have been a great leader a few centuries ago and not a few decades ago. Most European citizens have enjoyed rights, which Borg and his ilk fought tooth and nail to deny us.
Louise Vella
"A good solution for refugees seeking asylum in Europe is that it is treated as a European issue and not a national one.The Dublin regulation is the 'cornerstone' of the Common European Asylum System... we need to see increased solidarity, and help each other in times of difficulties." Hear! Hear! Cecilia! When illegal immigration is treated as a European problem, then everybody will realise that Malta's population is 1300 per sq km and Sweden's only 20. There are vast expanses of empty spaces in Sweden and all illegal immigrants want to go there because it's a rich country with one of the best social security systems in the world. When Sweden starts taking its fair share of African illegal immigrants (and not just immigrants from Finland and Denmark) then they will have a right to preach to us.
Joe Borg
It comes down to what many of us know already in this country. The values endorsed by Gonzi are not European values - they went out of fashion in the dark ages and are now compatible with the views held in Arab countries. So the values of Gonzi's Malta in the 21st century are those of Africa and the Middle East. As for those Maltese who truly hold dear European values, we have been denied European rights. We are not treated as equal European citizens. Even in our own country we are discriminated against, pay higher taxes and constantly harassed by the authorities while foreigners pay little tax and are allow to carry on with activities which are illegal everywhere else. The important thing is that Gonzi and the church remain in power, showered with money. The last time someone came over to Malta with European values, he was murdered by the church in Rabat, leading to 150 years of British colonial rule that ensured the church remained in power. In the meantime we are still teaching our children how EVIL those french were, because they wanted education for everyone, end to poverty, liberty and equality.
O K
Cecilia Wikström is also a vicar in the Church of Sweden. She has got a Master of theology at the Department of Theology at Uppsala University. She has had various positions in the Church of Sweden, such as Parish Pastor, Student Pastor, Pastor for Prisoners and Cathedral Canon of the Uppsala Cathedral. She is divorced twice and has two sons. If Tonio Borg is a dinosaur, what is this woman, a Protestant Tyrannosaurus Rex full of hatrid for Catholics?
Louise Vella
"A good solution for refugees seeking asylum in Europe is that it is treated as a European issue and not a national one.The Dublin regulation is the 'cornerstone' of the Common European Asylum System... we need to see increased solidarity, and help each other in times of difficulties." Hear! Hear! Cecilia! When illegal immigration is treated as a European problem, then everybody will realise that Malta's population is 1300 per sq km and Sweden's only 20. There are vast expanses of empty spaces in Sweden and all illegal immigrants want to go there because it's a rich country with one of the best social security systems in the world. When Sweden starts taking its fair share of African illegal immigrants (and not just immigrants from Finland and Denmark) then they will have a right to preach to us.
Polly Bonello
Its not fair to blame it only on Dr Tonio Borg; its the whole GonziPN that has to be blamed, and especially those who like Dr Simon Busuttil plays the 'liberal' and depicts GonziPN as the 'liberal party'! After all Malta is the last country that has introduced divorce in the world, and Tonio Borg was the leader of this GonziPN that tried to stall this liberal move! GonziPN 'intellectuals' should repent!