Justice

Consequences must follow for the Portuguese Government's role in the improper appointment of the Portuguese Prosecutor to the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO), a new EU Agency tasked with fighting crimes against the EU budget, EPP Group Vice-Chairman, Esteban González Pons has said.

“The facts are irrefutable. The Portuguese Government lied to the Council about the qualification of one of the candidates for the EPPO. And the result of that lie was born a decision that should never have occurred”, González Pons told the European Parliament in a speech in Brussels tonight (Wednesday).

“I honestly don't know what is worse: the excuse of the clerical error, or the theory of the anti-Portuguese conspiracy to which Prime Minister Costa has subscribed.” González Pons further underlined his regret at the incident, which has cast “a shadow of suspicion” over the EPPO and the start of the Portuguese Presidency of the EU.

The stark warning follows an earlier EPP Group call for an urgent European Commission investigation into the situation - a request that the Group reiterated again today.

“I am also calling on the Portuguese Government to assume its responsibility, before the Portuguese and before Europeans. Lies have to have consequences. Corrupting the rule of law cannot go unpunished”, González Pons insisted, urging Portuguese Prime Minister Costa to apologise to his citizens for the mistakes of his government.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 187 Members from all EU Member States

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