Press release

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Olaf and Dalli controversy

Kessler's resignation unavoidable, say Green MEPs

Following a debate in the European Parliament's budgetary control committee on the annual report of the supervisory committee of OLAF, the EU's anti-fraud body, Green MEPs Bart Staes, vice-chair of the EP's budgetary control committee, and José Bové, vice-chair of the EP's agriculture committee stated:

"The latest evidence to emerge about the role OLAF in the 'Dalligate' controversy makes Giovanni Kessler's position as OLAF director general untenable. The lack of regard for procedure and legal norms in OLAF's investigation of John Dalli cannot be brushed under the table. Against this background, there seems no alternative but for Giovanni Kessler to resign as OLAF director general. It is also essential that the European Commission finally makes its position clear on the report of the OLAF supervisory committee.

"From the outset, the Greens/EFA group has been concerned about the controversy, both as regards its implications for the role of lobbying and applicable rules on transparency, as well as the apparent disregard for procedure up to the highest levels in the EU institutions. The group had proposed a special committee of the European Parliament to look into the matter but this was regrettably rejected by almost all other groups. However, with disturbing evidence continuing to surface, the Greens/EFA group believes that this cannot simply be ignored and that the European Parliament has a duty, as the EU's democratically-elected, to ensure a proper follow-up.

"The case has wider implications for the EU institutions and those officials involved, as well as for applicable rules on ethics, transparency and lobbying. It is time for the other political groups to stop burying their heads in the sand: the credibility of the EU institutions is at stake. It is not only necessary and in the public interest to get to the bottom of the Dalligate controversy, ensuring any misconduct is sanctioned, it is also crucial that we draw lessons from the case and reform our institutions and the applicable ethics and transparency rules to prevent further abuses."