Silvio Zammit was offered fee to set up meeting with John Dalli - email

OLAF probe spikes Dalli’s anti-tobacco push, Swedes claim they were offered ‘indecent proposal’ by Sliema councillor.

Former Sliema deputy mayor Silvio Zammit.
Former Sliema deputy mayor Silvio Zammit.

The Nationalist deputy mayor of Sliema, Silvio Zammit, tendered his resignation Tuesday evening at 8:30pm, after it was established that he was in email and telephonic communication with Swedish snuff producers Swedish Match in 2011, in an attempt to broker a meeting with European Commissioner John Dalli.

MaltaToday has seen an email confirming the communication that took place between Zammit and Swedish Match.

In his resignation letter to PN secretary-general Paul Borg Olivier, Zammit said he was resigning due to personal reasons.

Dalli this evening resigned as health and consumer affairs commissioner after a probe by the EU's anti-fraud office OLAF found circumstantial evidence that he was aware of an attempt at corruption surrounding new legislation on the Swedish tobacco product known as snus.

The allegations, which he has denied, were reported to the Commission in 2011 and findings by OLAF were verbally communicated to him on Tuesday evening.

MaltaToday is informed that Zammit was in contact with Swedish Match over the possibility of influencing John Dalli ahead of a major revision of the Tobacco Products Directive that would have further regulated the access of tobacco to minors and other non-tobacco products like Swedish Match's snus.

Swedish Match told MaltaToday that had they received an "indecent proposal that was a real and credible offer" by a Maltese businessman who claimed he could influence Dalli on his anti-tobacco legislation.

According to the email between Zammit and Swedish Match, the Nationalist councillor was offered a fee to broker a meeting between the company and John Dalli.

Snus is a type of smokeless tobacco sold in loose form or in paper sachets that users stuff under their upper lip - snus sales are banned in the EU, except in Sweden, which insisted on an exemption when it joined the EU.

Dalli, who as health and consumer affairs Commissioner was pursuing anti-tobacco legislation, said in a statement this evening that the anti-fraud office "did not find any conclusive evidence" of his direct involvement in a scheme to profit from his office but felt "that he was aware of these events."

On its part, Swedish Match spokesperson Patrik Hildingsson told MaltaToday that the company received the offer by the businessman - whose identity they did not divulge - back in 2011.

"We believed it was real and credible enough for us to warrant a report to the European Commission. We felt it was highly indecent, and a few weeks later we informed the EC of the circumstances of this offer.

"We're not after anybody's head. But we felt it was credible enough for us to inform the Commission. We never heard of anything since then and only now have we been informed of the OLAF investigation."

Hildingsson said the businessman's offer was related to the regulation of snus sales outside Sweden. "We have had no historical relationship with the person and this was the first advance of the sort we had."

The OLAF report will go to the Attorney General of Malta, who will decide on what steps to take on the investigation.

Earlier this year, Dalli launched an own-initiative to regulate tobacco products and reduce cigarettes' appeal to young people in the form of a revision of the Tobacco Products Directive. The revision included the regulation of access to tobacco in a more stringent manner to limit the exposure of minors to tobacco products, and how to address new types of nicotine products on the market, such as electronic cigarettes.

This ostensibly included the regulation of snus, the Swedish tobacco snuff produced by Swedish Match.

As claimed on its website, Swedish Match wanted the European Commission to live up to promises of "smart regulation" during the revision on the Tobacco Products Directive.

Swedish Match was of the opinion that the EU ban on snus lacked a justified reason and was both discriminatory and disproportionate, and a violation of the free trade principle that denied adults "access to a traditional and viable non-combustible tobacco alternative that is scientifically well documented."

In an offical press statement released later in the evening, Swedish Match said it took this incident very seriously. "Swedish Match expects that the European Commission in the future will ensure a transparent and legally fair process for the proposal of a new Tobacco Products Directive which is expected during the autumn. Swedish Match expects that proven scientific facts regarding snus, including the well documented significantly lower health risks compared to cigarettes which are allowed in the EU, are considered in a continued fair legal process for the proposal of a new Tobacco Products Directive."

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One image just flashed across my eyes....... Nero(Gonzi) playing the harp while Rome( PN) is burning
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It looks like strict instructions have been given to PN gatekeepers in all media sectors to knock down Dalli; but stop at that and not mention other involved Nationalists. The spinning wheel has taken off in urgency to limit the damage to the PN, whose members are in the epicentre of this story. What has emerged up to now, seems to exonerate Dalli and looks like a witch hunt of the tobacco industry to destroy someone working on behalf of Europeans' health. Some are already writing profusely, as if awakened from the death, and dancing merrily on his grave, like they did with Demarco & Mintoff.
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If GonziPN shits on it's own people (as history has proven) like it regularly does, the rest of us don't stand a chance.
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Il-Partit Nazzjonalista ghamilna l-laughing stock mhux biss ta l-Ewropa (Boris Johnson 'carry on all Arriva') imma issa xandarna madwar id-dinja ukoll! Taht Mintoff Malta kient maghrufa ghas-serjeta u l-impenn ghal paci u djalogu fil-Mediterran: semmi Malta u kienu jghidulek Mintoff! Illum, taht il-Partit ta kontra d-diverzju kontra IVF kontra l-gays, semmi Malta u jghidulek KORRUZZJONI! Nisthi nghid li jien Malti. Sewwa qal Vella Gera li f'Malta is-sriep regghu ghandhom il-velenu: l-velenu tal-korruzzjoni, mibgheda u gideb u tixhim: morna l-bahar!
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@fenea. Il-Perit Mintoff kien kisirha mal-gvern laburista ta' Alfred Sant, imma baqa Laburist. John Dalli kien kisirha mal-gvern nazzjonalista ta' Lawrence Gonzi, imma baqa nazzjonalist. Il-vici sindku ta' tas-Sliema huwa nazzjonalist. Jekk joghgbok izzeffinx lil-laburisti f'din il-bicca xoghol xbin. Kull min hu mdahhal f'din, hati jew mhux, huwa nazzjonalist.
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THE BIGGEST FRAME UP OFF ALL
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Zack Depasquale
@Fenea, Taf x'inhu disguztanti, li l-interess tal-Partit ta'GonziPN ghalik huwa iktar importanti mill-gid tal-Pajjiz, taf x'inhu aktar dizgustanti li l-inkwiet fi hdan GonziPN illum hareg barra min xtutna u qieghed iwaqqgha il-pajjizna ghac-cajt.
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Xejn specjali ghal Dalli ghax qabel ma sar mistieden regolari fuq il-medja tal mlp. L-istess mlp dejjem kien jghidu li li ma kienx subghajh dritt.
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U l-ġimgħa l'oħra l-media tal-PN għamlet festa bl'istorja tas-sindku tal-Marsa! Issa x'se jagħmlu b'pampalun bħal-viżi sindku ta' tas-Sliema! Minn għandu dahru tal-kristall aħjar ma jwaddabx ġebel lejn ħadd ieħor, għax jaf imur żmerġ u tiġi xi waħda lura! Qatta ipokriti! U fejn hu Giov DeMartino, kemm ilu ma jagħmel xi ftit ta' ħoss, jew jinsab maħnuq!
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I spy with my little eye something beginning with 'R'(CC)!!!!
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allahares kontu imhallfin ghax kieku kullhadd il habs qijed. biex taqbdu u tikkundannaw lil dak li jkun hadd ma jirbhilkom. john dalli kien sar tajjeb ghax beda jghajjar lil partit nazzjonalista. issa alla jbierek kulhadd iwahhal fil gvern. jekk jogobkom zommu linja wahda u mhux toqodu idduru mar rih. john dalli qal li il partit nazzjonalista mhux dak li jixtieq hu. well and good. jekk irid jibqa fil partit, jipprova jirranga l-affarijiet ghat tajjeb, inkella jitlaq. jekk jinstab hati fuq dan il kaz jiehu dak li haqqu. imma intom il laburisti tiga ghamiltuha fatta.
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Jista xi hadd go dan l-imbierek pajjiz jindikali jekk baqax xi Nazzjonalist (li qieghed f’xi kariga ufficjali) li ghadu ma thammigx b’xi haga. Kunsilliera, Vici-Sindki, Sindki, MP’s, EuroMP’s, Ufficjali ta Transport Malta, Prim Imhalfin, Diretturi mac-Civil (Ex-Sindki). Lista ma tispicca qatt. Mamma mia x’biza, Religio et Patria et Soldi piu Soldi e tanti Soldi minn fuq dahar il-Gahan Malti. Doomsday 2012 ta veru gejja ghax il-klikka ta Gonzi (li hi l-ex klikka ta Eddie) Super Black hole ha jikkawzaw. U l-kbir ghadu gej………..
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Dawn l'affarijiet li bdew ħerġin fil-beraħ. Aħseb u ara li hemm moħmi u moħbi wara l-kwinti! Nispera li Dr.Franco jsemmi xi stejjer qabel iwarrbuh mix-xena politika. Mid-dehra jaf b'xi affarijiet, dejjem minn skond u t-ton li tkellem bih fil-parlament! Kif jgħidu t-taljani 'svota il sacco' dottore! Mingħajr ma nitfa' l'ebda kumment jew dubju fuq il-każ tas-sur John Dalli, li milli jidher dan it-tip ta' episodji se jibqgħu jiġru warajh, jidher biċ-ċar li fl-Ewropa kif politikant jissemma f'xi ħaġa bħal din, mal-ewwel jitfa' r-reżenja tiegħu, eżatt bil-kontra ta' dak li jagħmlu il-gonz u sħabu tal-klikka, għax akkost ta' kollox iridu jibqgħu iggranfati mal-poter, u wara li joħorġu ċertu affarijiet ta' arroganza u tal-mistħija minn ċerti ministri!
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Jista xi hadd go dan l-imbierek pajjiz jindikali jekk baqax xi Nazzjonalist (li qieghed f’xi kariga ufficjali) li ghadu ma thammigx b’xi haga. Kunsilliera, Vici-Sindki, Sindki, MP’s, EuroMP’s, Ufficjali ta Transport Malta, Prim Imhalfin, Diretturi mac-Civil (Ex-Sindki). Lista ma tispicca qatt. Mamma mia x’biza, Religio et Patria et Soldi piu Soldi e tanti Soldi minn fuq dahar il-Gahan Malti. Doomsday 2012 ta veru gejja ghax il-klikka ta Gonzi (li hi l-ex klikka ta Eddie) Super Black hole ha jikkawzaw. U l-kbir ghadu gej………..
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stramba kif il-kumpanija rraportat lil kummissjoni meta kienet taf li dalli kien kontra t-tipjip. jew isservat b'dan biex twarrab lil dalli? kif hargu l-affarijiet sa issa dalli jidher nadif ma hemmx ghalih jew accetta flus u jekk huwa hekk malta ghandha tiddefendih anki billi ma tahtarx iehor minfloku. hemm ir-reputazzjoni ta' malta kollha fin-nofs. hemm bzonn li l-ag jaghmel l-investigazzjonijiet kollha.
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stramba kif il-kumpanija rraportat lil kummissjoni meta kienet taf li dalli kien kontra t-tipjip. jew isservat b'dan biex twarrab lil dalli? kif hargu l-affarijiet sa issa dalli jidher nadif ma hemmx ghalih jew accetta flus u jekk huwa hekk malta ghandha tiddefendih anki billi ma tahtarx iehor minfloku. hemm ir-reputazzjoni ta' malta kollha fin-nofs. hemm bzonn li l-ag jaghmel l-investigazzjonijiet kollha.
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Hmieg, hmieg u aktar hmieg. U alla jbierek il-gvern ghaddej taparsi frisk. Min jaf x'jiddispjacih Gonzi li m'ghamilx l-elezzjoni xhur ilu. Issa milli jidher Dalli se jirritorna biex jinvestiga min huwa wara din l-azzjoni hazina. Mhux xi frame up iehor dan hux??
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stramba kif il-kumpanija rraportat lil kummissjoni meta kienet taf li dalli kien kontra t-tipjip. jew isservat b'dan biex twarrab lil dalli? kif hargu l-affarijiet sa issa dalli jidher nadif ma hemmx ghalih jew accetta flus u jekk huwa hekk malta ghandha tiddefendih anki billi ma tahtarx iehor minfloku. hemm ir-reputazzjoni ta' malta kollha fin-nofs. hemm bzonn li l-ag jaghmel l-investigazzjonijiet kollha.
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X.,misthija; l-ewwel Boris Johnstone u issa dan il-kaz ta Silvio Zammit versus Dalli!Vera messejna l-qiegh!
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Zack Depasquale
Good Riddance. This is someone that was always advantaged by the PN in Government seems like the mighty are falling one by one.
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Luke Camilleri
Kemm kienu ilhom jafu tal-P.N. u zammu kollox kwiet..... jew normali jzommu kollox kwiet u undercover? Tgid sorpriza kienet din?
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Luke Camilleri
Veru tal-kummiedji dan u mhux buzollotti biss!
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Luke Camilleri
Veru tal-kummiedji dan u mhux buzollotti biss!
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Luke Camilleri
Veru tal-kummiedji dan u mhux buzollotti biss!