It’s not true Muscat secured Socialist support – David Casa
The tit-for-tat between the Nationalist Party and Labour Party following a declaration by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on Tonio Borg’s nomination as European Commissioner continued, with PN MEP David Casa publishing a statement by the European Socialist Group in which it was declared that the socialists were not supporting Dr Borg.
“PM Joseph Muscat claimed he secured Socialist support. It’s a lie. He did not. The position of the S&D group was clear as this press release attests. They voted against Tonio Borg’s nomination,” Mr Casa said.
The press release, issued on 21 November 2012, is as follows: “Last night’s S&D Group meeting saw a two-thirds majority vote not to support Tonio Borg as Commissioner. Mr Borg has been proposed by the Maltese government to succeed John Dalli as European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection. However, members of the Group will be free to vote according to their individual assessments of Mr Borg’s performance and declarations.”
Hannes Swoboda, President of the S&D Group, commented: “The S&D Group acknowledges Mr Borg’s performance during his hearing and took note of his declaration that his personal views would not interfere with his duties as Commissioner, if appointed. But gender equality and the rights of women and homosexuals are still under fire from a part of Europe’s right wing and the S&D Group wants to see the position filled by someone with a track record on respecting and furthering these rights.”
Ahead of today’s vote in the European Parliament plenary session, he continued: “Should Mr Borg be confirmed by a majority of the European Parliament, we will co-operate with him in his area of competence. He will then have the duty and opportunity to convince the many citizens who have voiced doubts about his position and his commitment to fundamental rights.”