The European Commission said on Monday that it was “pollitically untenable” for John Dalli to remain the EU Health Commissioner.
Dalli resigned last week after an anti-fraud investigation linked him to attemps to influence EU tobacco legislation. The ex-commissioner denies any wrongdoing.
“It was politically untenable for Mr. Dalli to remain in his sensitive function. He stopped being a commissioner on Tuesday”, Olivier Bailly, a spokesman for the EU, told reporters on Monday in Brussels.
Earlier last week, the Commission said that Dalli had resigned voluntarily in order to clear his name. However, the Commisison confirmed this week that the former comissioner was asked to resign.
“President Barroso offered Mr Dalli the opportunity to resign”, Bailly said.
Dalli’s ‘resignation’ comes only days before new tough EU laws on tobacco are due to advance.
The former commissioner has argued he might be the victim of a lobbying campaign to block tobacco legislation.
Dalli is due to meet European Parliament president Martin Schulz on Tuesday in Strasbourg to plead his innocence.
Malta has nominated Foreign Minister Tonio Borg to replace John Dalli as its European Commissioner. The nomination must be approved by the European Parliament after a hearing where the candidate is quizzed by MEPs.