European Commissioner John Dalli resigns

John Dalli has resigned as European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, the European Commission said on October 16 2012.

The Maltese member of the European Commission resigned after an investigation by OLAF, the EU’s antifraud office, into a complaint made in May 2012 by the tobacco producer, Swedish Match.

The company alleged that a Maltese entrepreneur had used his contacts with Dalli to try to gain financial advantages from the company in return for seeking to influence a possible future legislative proposal on tobacco products, in particular on the EU export ban on snus .
As soon as the Commission received the complaint it immediately requested OLAF to investigate, the EC said.
The OLAF final report was sent to the Commission on October 15. It found that the Maltese entrepreneur had approached the company using his contacts with Dalli and sought to gain financial advantages in exchange for influence over a possible future legislative proposal on snus, a smokeless tobacco taken orally.

No transaction was concluded between the company and the entrepreneur and no payment was made. The OLAF report did not find any conclusive evidence of the direct participation of Dalli but did consider that he was aware of these events, the EC said.

The OLAF report showed clearly that the European Commission’s decision making process and the position of the services concerned has not been affected at all by the matters under investigation.

The final OLAF report and its recommendations are being sent by OLAF to the Attorney General of Malta. It will now be for the Maltese judiciary to decide how to follow up.

After the President informed Dalli about the report received from OLAF, Dalli decided to resign in order to be able to defend his reputation and that of the Commission. Dalli categorically rejects these findings, the EC said.

(Photo: European Commission)



The Sofia Globe staff

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