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Malta foreign minister a 'dinosaur': Swedish MEP

Malta foreign minister a 'dinosaur': Swedish MEP

Published: 12 Nov 2012 14:50 GMT+01:00
Updated: 12 Nov 2012 14:50 GMT+01:00

A Swedish member of the European Parliament was Monday spearheading efforts to thwart the appointment of Malta's European Commissioner designate Tonio Borg because of his conservative views on women's rights.

"This is a big, fat, splendid scandal that they are sending us, not a commissioner but a dinosaur," Cecilia Wikström, a member of the Alliance for Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament, said in an interview conducted in Sweden which she posted on videosharing website YouTube.

"I plan to take the lead so we can vote against him. We cannot accept him. This is not a commissioner for the 21st century," she said.

Borg, who is also Malta's foreign minister and deputy prime minister, has been tapped to replace fellow Maltese national John Dalli as EU health and consumer commissioner, who stepped down in October following allegations of influence peddling.

See Wikström's interview below (in Swedish)

Borg has been a frequent target of criticism over his ultraconservative views, including during his campaign against the legalization of abortion in Malta last year.

He is due to appear before the European Parliament for a hearing on Tuesday.

Wikström, who is a vicar in the Swedish Lutheran Church, said she hoped the Parliament would vote against him.

"This is about human rights, about allowing people to choose how they want to live their lives," she said.

"He is against divorce (and) women's rights in general. He is against letting women choose freely how they want to live their lives, for example on abortion. And he's totally against sexual and reproductive health and rights," she said.

AFP/The Local

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Your comments about this article

15:52 November 12, 2012 by Eric1
Yep, that abortion thing is tough. Killing humans before birth is difficult for me to except. He is consider "ultraconservative", just a short time ago he would have been consider mainstream, and Ms Wikstrom would be considered a heretic. My, how times have changed.
18:52 November 12, 2012 by RobinHood
The condemnation of divorce and abortion is standard procedure amongst the 1.1 billion practitioners of the Catholic faith; by far the largest religious denomination in the world. About 40% percent of those living in the EU are Catholic. Every one of them becasue they have chosen to be of that faith.

Ms Wikström, a Lutheran vicar, seems to trying to make the European parliament a place to promote her own religious views, and condemn the religious views of others. She can be an EU politician, or she can be a whacko extremist protestent vicar with a tendency to make religious rants on You Tube; she can not be both. A resignation seems in order.
21:23 November 12, 2012 by Spuds MacKenzie
Whatever happened to Sweden's policy of neutrality?! Let Malta do what Malta wants to do! It's none of Sweden's business!
07:47 November 13, 2012 by Kevin Harris
Tonio Borg is the democratically elected member of the Maltese Parliament, chosen by the democratically elected government of Malta to represent them in the European Parliament. Cecilia Wikström, has a worrying disregard for the principals of democracy and brings Sweden into embarrasing disrepute.

Perhaps Cecilia should send the Maltese people a list of people she does approve of, so they can get it right next time? I'm sure they would appreciate that.
08:45 November 13, 2012 by Sense and logic
She is a fine example of what happens when you take a woman away from the kitchen.
10:08 November 13, 2012 by 007
good for her to speak out against such a relic of days gone by that he makes mitt romney sound progressive. he should not be considered a suitable replacement to head the EU's health and consumer commissioner.

you cannot represent the well-being of men and women EU wide when your views on sexual and reproductive medicine reads from a 1950s journal and you don't trust an individual's right to chose their own civil status.

if malta wants him, malta should keep him. he should not be able to influence my medical care.
11:05 November 13, 2012 by rebelart.se
i would rather be a dinosaur than the unidentified savage species she belongs too
11:15 November 13, 2012 by texaslass
I cannot remember so well, but I think there was a French politician who stated that Sweden was the world's mother in law. So true.
11:52 November 17, 2012 by kirkop
I think She is the Dinosaur. We live in a liberal world, so why can't everyone have his own opinion? I'm sure Mr.Borg can shine in the EU if he if given the chance. Support for Malta!
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