GUE/NGL MEPs have reiterated their strong opposition today to Arias Cañete, Commissioner-designate for Climate action and Energy.

His performance was evaluated in a meeting of political group coordinators from both Parliament's Environment and Industry committees earlier this morning.

GUE/NGL ITRE Coordinator, MEP Neoklis Sylikiotis said: “We were not convinced by the performance of Mr Cañete at all and our doubts concerning his vague financial statement persist. Cañete's involvement with oil and gas companies leads to conflicts of interest given the portfolio that Mr Juncker wants to give him; what's more, we can't forget his background. As a minister he took decisions that were very harmful for the people of Spain. Therefore, for all these reasons for GUE/NGL Mr Cañete is untrustworthy and there is only one solution and that is to vote on it.”

Sylikiotis continued: “Unfortunately, the decision concerning the vote has been postponed since some other groups wish to wait for Parliament's Legal Affairs committee to give its opinion before proceeding further with the evaluation. We didn't agree with the postponement. Our proposal was for an immediate vote on Cañete according to the Parliament's rules which state that Commissioners-designate must be evaluated within 24 hours.”

GUE/NGL MEP Paloma Lopez said: “During his hearing Cañete denied everything he had done in Spain. While we heard him say that to achieve sustainable and green energy he would draw up renewable energy proposals and ensure that countries implemented them, when he was in government in Spain he did the exact opposite: he destroyed renewable energy and paved the way for fracking.

“What he said in the hearing is in total contradiction with what he has been doing. Secondly, and most importantly, are his personal conflicts of interest. He didn't answer any of our fundamental questions.”

GUE/NGL MEP Teresa Rodriguez said: “Cañete's hearing yesterday was a shameful exercise of cynicism. He pretended that his past record as an Environment minister who was catastrophic for renewable energy should not be taken into account when considering him for a European position. He also tried to convince us that just by selling his shares after being appointed he suddenly became an independent person with no personal ties to the oil industry. He refused to answer any questions regarding his brother-in-law, who maintains control of the two oil companies Cañete founded and chaired for decades.”

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group

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