As many readers will have learned from the newspaper, the Maltese EU commissioner John Dalli was forced to resign last month following his-however slight- involvement into a fraud case investigated by the Commission.
The Maltese government has subsequently designated Dalli's successor in the person of mr. Tonio Borg.
The latter, as foreseen by the appointment procedure, was heard yesterday by MPs on a wide series of topics.
In his opening speech, the Commissioner declared his commitment to fostering the welfare of european consumers and promised that, if elected, he would "propose legislation, including on tobacco products, cloning of animals for food, novel foods, product safety, plant and animal health and access to bank accounts."
Tobacco products were a specially sensitive issue since their regulation, and the delay in adopting new European rules, were the grounds for the scandal which involved Mr. Borg's predecessor.
Other contentious issues concerned the nominee's positions on sensitive topics such as women's rights and non-discrimination.
More sector-specific commitments ware asked in the fields of cloning, GMOs, consumers, animal transport.
Internal consultations will now be held within the Parliament, which is expected to come out with its (non-binding) verdict through the vote of a resolution in the course of next week.