The call has been put to the S&D group in a letter today, and has so far been supported by the Greens/EFA and the EFDD.

GUE/NGL President, Gabi Zimmer, stated: “Commissioner Cañete faces serious allegations of corruption. This could seriously damage the reputation of the European Commission and the European Union as a whole. We ask the political groups in the European Parliament to support our request to debate this grave issue in the plenary.”

“Furthermore, we call on the Commission to publicly clarify these serious allegations in the most open and transparent manner and take the necessary steps in order to prevent any harm to the European institutions in the eyes of its citizens.”

There is strong pressure on the S&D group to support the call for the Commission to appear in the plenary, after the group voted against the appearance of Arias Cañete last week in the mini plenary session, saying that they “would have preferred a debate at the Conference of Presidents”.

In the lead-up to the Conference of Presidents meeting tomorrow that will make the decision on whether the Commission will appear in the plenary next week, Spanish MEP, Xabier Benito Ziluaga, says that GUE/NGL “has complied with the request of the S&D group, so this time there is no reason to continue defending the Commissioner who has been accused of many kinds of corruption, which undermines the trust of citizens in the EU”.

Spanish MEP, Marina Albiol Guzmán, adds: “After sending several letters to the OLAF and to DG REGIO, we were able to confirm with the Spanish prosecutor last week that AcuaMed is being investigated for fraud, having diverted over 20 million euros, including European funds.”

“So far the S&D, EPP and ALDE have blocked all our attempts to hear a formal explanation from Cañete, trying to protect the Partido Popular's image in a country where left forces are closer to being in government than ever.”

Basque MEP, Josu Juaristi Abaunz, concluded with the questions: “Until when will the groups of the European Parliament that allowed Cañete's appointment as European Commissioner continue protecting him, despite more than reasonable doubt over the corruption allegations and evidence given in hearings that took place at the beginning of this legislature?”

“How long will those groups keep denying Parliament´s legitimate right to exercise democratic and transparent control over this European Commissioner?”

A decision on whether Cañete will appear before the plenary next week will be taken in the Conference of Presidents meeting tomorrow.


GUE/NGL Press Contact:

Nikki Sullings  +32 22 83 27 60 / +32 483 03 55 75

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