The beleaguered Italian commissioner designate Rocco Buttiglione has hit back at MEPs, claiming that he is a victim of an anti-Christian “inquisition”.
The tense atmosphere surrounding the crucial 21 October meeting on the commissioner hearings between the political leaders of the EP and Commission President Barroso has been further fuelled by press comments by the controversial commissioner designate Rocco Buttiglione.
In an interview with the Italian daily Corriera della Sera, Buttiglione stated that
he was the victim of a “hate campaign” and an anti-Christian “inquisition”.
The devout Roman Catholic was backed by a Vatican cardinal, Renato Raffaele Martino, head of the Vatican’s Council for Justice and Peace, calling the MEPs’ attack on Buttiglione a “lay inquistion”.
This latest development has led to EP President Josep Borrell, a Spanish Socialist, warning of the risk of war between the EP and the incoming Commisison. “Everyone is free to say what they believe, but his comments will not help improve the opinion of the European Parliament. An insult is no answer in a democratic discussion,” Borrell said