Thursday

20th Feb 2020

Commission dismisses Marta Andreasen

The European Commission decided today (13 October) to dismiss its former chief accountant Marta Andreasen.

In a press release published at noon in Brussels the Commission announced she would be sacked with effect from 1 November.

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"I will continue to fight", says Mrs Andreasen, believing time will prove that she was right in criticising the EUs accounting system of being open to fraud.

The EU Budget Commissioner Michaele Schreyer hired Ms Andreasen in January 2002. Coming from the OECD, the Spanish economist entered the European Commission while it was still feeling the effects of the resignation of the entire Santer Commission.

She was appointed against the advice of the powerful secretary general of the budget directory, Jean-Paul Mingasson, with whom she soon clashed.

Prodi manipulated

In her first comment to the press after receiving the information of her dismissal via the press she told the EUobserver: "The Prodi Commission has been manipulated by a group of officials, the " nomenklatura" as the press once called them, who manages funds without control".

She added: "They want to continue to manage the funds without real control and that's why they wanted me out".

The new accounting system to be put in place in the Commission will do nothing but add "cosmetic changes", she said. "It will not solve all the structural problems".

Ms Andreasen said her case might frighten, but could not stop, others from blowing the whistle over irregularities in the Commission.

"I believe there are other officials in the European Commission, who want to stick to their principles and we might soon see new cases like Eurostat appearing", said the Spaniard.

Two years disciplinary process

Ms Andreasen was suspended as chief accountant on 28 August 2002 after sending an internal letter to Commission President, Romano Prodi, expressing her concerns about failures in the accounting system.

She later also went public with her criticism.

For the past two years she has been paid a full salary but denied access to her working place in the Commission.

Meanwhile, a disciplinary Board made up of four Commission officials - all part of the "nomenklatura", she says - has been dealing with her case and decided on 29 September unanimously to recommend her dismissal.

Ms Andreasen "repeatedly and knowingly acted in disregard of her obligations", the full college of Commissioners concluded today.

In particular she made "unsubstantiated statements" and failed to seek authorization for public statements, the Commission stated in the press release announcing her dismissal.

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