A German member of the European Parliament has said that Tonio Borg,Malta’s foreign minister, should not be allowed to join the college of European commissioners, according to a story by Toby Vogel for the European Voice.
Borg, who has been put forward by Malta as a replacement for John Dalli, who resigned last month from his position as European Commissioner responsible for health and consumer affairs, is due to appear before two Parliamentary committees today.
Holger Krahmer, a German Liberal MEP, said the commission president José Manuel Barroso should not have accepted Tonio Borg as a candidate for the job of health commissioner.
If Malta did not withdraw Borg as candidate, Barroso should reject him even before Borg’s hearing in the European Parliament he added.
Borg has come under criticism for his views, on women’s rights, homosexuality and abortion. He now also faces questions over a Kazakh citizen who was granted residency inMaltaat a time whenKazakhstanwas seeking his extradition. Borg denies any wrong doing.
“A court should decide over the allegations against Borg,” said Krahmer, the spokesman on the environment for the German Liberal MEPs. “I do, however, think it is remarkable that the president of the commission should make such a proposal to the European Parliament.”
The European Parliament is consulted on commissioners’ nominations but does not have the power to reject candidates.
Krahmer, according to a story in the Malta Independent, has been among those expressing their doubts on introducing tougher restrictions and bans as part of the revision of the commission’s tobacco products directive, now under review.
Asked for his views on the matter the Krahmer was quoted as saying that “the revision of the tobacco products directive was now likely to be off the table for this legislative period”.
“It is good that we now have more time to reflect on the meaning of further sales restrictions on tobacco products,” he said.
Meanwhile, Matthias Groote, chairman of the European Parliament’s environment committee, fears a revision of the tobacco products directive will not be proposed before the end of the year as planned, according to a story by Dave Keating for the European Voice.
But he then went on to say that this “important legislation has been postponed time and time again”. “The European Parliament and European public will not tolerate further delays,” he added.
An unnamed commission spokesperson was quoted as saying that though the directive would still be proposed as planned, it would not be put forward until a new health commissioner was in place.
Category: Breaking News