The head of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament said today that Commissioner-designate Tonio Borg would be questioned  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," Hannes Swoboda said in a statement.

He also called on 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.

"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.

There are serious doubts about the entire process that led to Mr Dalli's resignation

"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.

"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."

COMMISSIONER-DESIGNATE

Speaking about the new candidate for Commissioner nominated by Malta, Tonio Borg, he added:

"Regardless of the circumstances surrounding Mr 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."

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