Following the constitutive meeting of the Committee of Inquiry into emission measurements in the automotive sector this morning, GUE/NGL MEPs Kateřina Konečná, Neoklis Sylikiotis, Merja Kyllönen, who are members of the inquiry committee, said that in addition to their work on the committee, they intended to dig deeper into this scandal and ensure that workers and citizens' rights and concerns were addressed.

Finnish MEP Merja Kyllönen explained that the group was disappointed with the mandate of the committee which focused too much on the alleged contraventions of European law and which had been further narrowed by other political forces in the Parliament. “We are therefore starting our own work to promote the values of the left including workers' rights. The effects on the human health of citizens because traffic emissions exceed the required limits will also be a major focus of the group's work.”

Czech MEP, and Vice-Chair of the committee, Kateřina Konečná said it was important to find out the European Commission's role in this and how much they knew about it. She added: “Consumers bought their cars in good faith. It is also important to ensure that workers in the automobile industry do not pay the price for this scandal. There should be no “golden parachutes” for anyone in the automobile industry responsible for these mistakes. They should be accountable for their actions and take responsibility for them.”

For Cypriot MEP Neoklis Sylikiotis “This is a highly political issue and must be dealt with as such. The Commission and some governments are directly responsible for it. Our priority is to denounce this political scandal. We must deal with the corruption issues and the procedures that exist to protect the multinational monopolies when breaking the rules. We will work hard in the inquiry committee to ensure the committee gets the best result.”

A working group has been set up within the GUE/NGL to go further than the Inquiry committee's mandate in its investigations. The working group comprises the committee's three members and three substitute members as well as a number of other GUE/NGL MEPs.

“We will be working closely with trade unions, environmental associations and consumer groups,” explained Neoklis Sylikiotis. “We want to dig deeper into this shameful scandal and let European citizens know the truth about it,” said Kateřina Konečná. “Our working group will achieve its objectives through visits, by inviting guests – workers and citizens – to meetings and seminars. This is not a witch hunt. We stand alongside consumers, ordinary people and workers,” Merja Kyllönen concluded.

GUE/NGL Press Contact:

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

Nikki Sullings + 32 483 03 55 75

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