Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said in Parliament this evening that the government would act within a reasonable time to nominate somebody to take over the responsibilities held by John Dalli in the European Commission.

Opposition leader Joseph Muscat called for prudence in the decisions which will be taken, in view of the current stage of this legislature.

In a brief statement in Parliament about Mr Dalli's resignation from the European Commission (see http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20121016/local/john-dalli-resigns-from-the-european-commission.441363 ) Dr Gonzi said that  he was informed of Mr Dalli's resignation in a phone call from EU Commission President Jose' Manoel Barroso at 3 p.m.

Mr Dalli also phoned him to inform him that he would fight all the allegations being made against him, and he was resigning in order to be better able to contest the claims and protect the reputation of the institution which he represented.

Dr Gonzi said he had not yet received the OLAF investigation report which led to the resignation, and he did not know whether he would be sent a copy, since the procedure was for the report to the sent to the Attorney General, who would decide whether further action was required.

The prime minister said that the government would, in a reasonable time, nominate another Maltese to take over the portfolio held by Mr Dalli.

Opposition Leader Joseph Muscat said one should be cautious and always seek to safeguard the national interest and reputation.

In view of the current stage of the legislature, he also called for prudence in the decisions which are taken.

He also urged the prime minister to deliver another statement if and when he received the OLAF report.

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