European Commission: Politically untenable for Dalli to stay
No evidence of illegality by Mr Dalli - commission spokesman
A spokesman for the European Commission said today that the whole question of John Dalli’s resignation was over for the commission. “It is past, it occurred on Tuesday,” the spokesman said.
He was replying to questions by journalists after Mr Dalli wrote to EU Commission President Jose' Manuel Barroso late yesterday saying there was no resignation since he had not sent any resignation letter. (See http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20121022/local/dalli-writes-to-barroso.442136 )
Olivier Bailly said Mr Dalli was asked to resign on the basis of a political assessment made by EU Commission President Jose' Manuel Barroso because his situation was ‘politically untenable’.
That assessment was made on the basis of the OLAF investigation report, which was 'partly' revealed on Wednesday.
Mr Barroso in line with his authority asked Mr Dalli to tender his resignation, and Mr Dalli resigned, the spokesman said. He told Mr Barroso that he would be resigning and then he said the same thing before the head of the legal service and the head of Mr Barroso's Cabinet. "The resignation was immediate".
A resignation letter was not obligatory.
Mr Bailly added that the Commission respected the presumption of innocence. There was no evidence of illegal behaviour by Mr Dalli since the legal aspect would be decided by the Attorney General in Malta.
However Mr Dalli’s presence on the European Commission was politically untenable on the basis of the report, particularly in view of the unofficial meetings held with the tobacco industry involving the Maltese intermediary without reason, the spokesman said.
That had cast a doubt on the integrity of the decision-making process and thus it was politically untenable for Mr Dalli to stay.
Mr Bailly said the resignation had immediate effect.
In line with rules Mr Dalli will receive an allowance so that he can move back to Malta and will also be paid transitional allowance for a three-year period until he finds another job or retires. This corresponds to 45 per cent of his old salary. His pension will be paid after the transition.
The spokesman said the Commission had not changed its commitment to present a new Tobacco Directive. The directive would be presented to the College of Commissioners by the new commissioner. The spokesman did not know when that would happen.