John Dalli this afternoon was quoted as saying that the European Commission was lying about what took place at his meeting with Commission President Jose Manoel Barrosso on Tuesday, when his resignation was announced.

Speaking to EU Observer in the wake of remarks made this morning by an Commission spokesman, Mr Dalli  said the commission was 'lying' about what really happened.

"I walked into Barroso's office and he told me I had to resign. I spent an hour and a half with him telling him this is not the way to do it and with him saying I must resign or I will dismiss you," Dalli recalled.

"I went to the meeting without knowing the agenda and he [Barroso] sprang this on me. He didn't show me any [Olaf] papers. He read from a file he had and in these circumstances I asked for 24 hours to consult with my lawyers and to tell my family - why should my family find out what happened from a press release? He said: 'I'm giving you 30 minutes' and this is the way it happened," he added.

"There wasn't any raising of voices on his part or mine."

Mr Dalli also said that he would meet  European Parliament chief Martin Schulz tomorrow  to plead his innocence.

 "I am not going there to seek any type of redress from Mr Schulz. I'm going to explain my position and to answer any questions ... I can't stand by when people are saying this case is closed. For me, the case has not even opened."


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