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'Hidden hand' which forced out Dalli may have tried to delay his successor - Vella

Dr George Vella

Dr George Vella

The Opposition’s foreign affairs spokesman, George Vella, said today that a hidden hand which may have created the circumstances leading to John Dalli’s resignation from the European Commission may well have had an interest in delaying the appointment of a new Commissioner and, hence, progress on the EU’s Tobacco Directive.

Speaking in parliament on the adjournment, Dr Vella congratulated Tonio Borg on his appointment as European Commissioner and said that the hurdles and attacks he had suffered for his personal views were unjustified and unfair. No other commissioners-designate had been subjected to such scrutiny, he said. Had there been a hidden hand pushing against his confirmation, the same hand which forced out Mr Dalli as he worked on the Tobacco Directive?

He said he was proud that the Labour MEPs, like the Nationalists, had worked to secure Dr Borg's confirmation.

Dr Vella reiterated his view that Dr Borg had not needed to write to MEPs about matters related to his personal beliefs since he had ample credentials to stand his ground. He was also happy that Dr Borg had remained true to his personal beliefs, declaring, also today, that he was personally against abortion but respected the EU Charter.

It was also unfair, Dr Vella said, that no official reasons had been given so far about the circumstances which led to  John Dalli being forced to resign under circumstances which cast a shadow on him and his country.

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