Marta Andreasen suspended Aug02

Marta Andreasen, the European Commission's former Chief Accountant, has today been suspended from all duties by the Commission following her request made on Monday to see the accounts and bank statements of the Commission before signing them off as she had been asked to do in July.

Bashir Khanbhai, Conservative MEP for the East of England has described the suspension as "disgraceful" and a "blatant admission of failure". A cross party collection of MEPs now intends to raise this matter at Monday's meeting of the Parliament's Budgetary Control Committee and call for Ms. Andreasen to give evidence before Parliament.

A letter published today, from the European Commission, provides alarming evidence that Commissioner Neil Kinnock has been trying to suspend her for some months. Amazingly, the letter also admits that the hearing in which Marta Andreasen will be told of her suspension "would not deal with the fundamental issues which you raise in relation to financial management and regulation".

Commenting on today's news, Mr Khanbhai said: "It just shows how far the Commission are prepared to go to silence their critics. They are showing no intention of addressing the issues raised by Marta Andreasen by suspending her now. They are even planing to hold a hearing without reference to the important claims she has made.

"Attempts to belittle and intimidate Marta Andreasen however, will not stop her or the European Parliament from looking into the issues surrounding Neil Kinnock's failed reforms. Kinnock was appointed vice-president of the Commission to reform and clean up the Brussels bureaucracy, not to silence competent professionals with integrity who exercise their judgement in the best interest of European citizens, at considerable cost and embarrassment to themselves.

"I will continue to pursue these issues in the Parliament whatever Commissioner Kinnock attempts to do to pervert the course of our investigations."