Barroso is apparently accused of abuse after constraining the Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli, to resign without presenting evidence that he had acted improperly.
However, Barroso is unlikely to damage his image too much as the EPP parliamentarians will endorse him anyway.
The circumstances under which President Barroso forced John Dalli to resign are unclear. Furthermore the resignation of the President of OLAF Supervisory Board and the recognition that there was no evidence of direct implication, are likely to decrease confidence of European citizens in European institutions and European Commission as a whole.
The former European Commissioner Maltese John Dalli is prepared to open a lawsuit in Malta, Brussels, at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg or the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. He also argued that various groups connected to the tobacco industry made lobby and applied pressure on the Commission in recent months.
“I appeal” the decision taken by the Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso to make me resign, said Dalli in a press conference organized at the EU executive in Brussels.
Dalli, who held the portfolio of Health and Consumer Protection, was under an investigation of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). OLAF explained that it acted following a complaint from producer “Swedish Match” that denounced a Maltese entrepreneur who could allegedly influence Dalli to change the anti-tobacco law. Dalli, who strongly rejected the allegations, explained how Barroso asked his resignation. “I asked him to give me 24 hours, but he give me just 30 minutes,” said Dalli.