The President of the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) Group in the European parliament Hannes Swoboda said: "We support the resignation of EU Commissioner for Health John Dalli. It is imperative that each Commissioner representing the European Commission is above suspicion. "The EU Commission must act in a way where honesty has to be the priority."
In a press release issued in Brussels on Wednesday morning concerning the nomination of a successor, Hannes Swoboda added: "It would make sense to wait for the result of the next general elections in Malta, which are due to be held in the coming months, before a new Commissioner is nominated."
In its statement the S&D group said that on Tuesday, EU Commissioner John Dalli, responsible for Consumer Protection and Health, resigned from his position. The European Commission's Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), which investigates fraud allegations involving the EU budget, corruption and serious misconduct within the EU institutions, had received a complaint in May 2012 from the tobacco producer Swedish Match.
The company argued that a Maltese entrepreneur had used his contacts with the Commissioner to try to gain financial advantage from the company in return for seeking to influence a possible future legislative proposal on tobacco products, in particular on the EU export ban on snus. Commissioner Dalli's resignation took immediate effect.