Cardiff's biggest critic to miss EU job 'interview'
Published 23/11/2011 | 05:00
THE biggest critic of the nomination of Finance Department chief Kevin Cardiff to a top EU job won't be present to interrogate him today.
Mr Cardiff appears before a committee of the European Parliament this afternoon to be quizzed on his candidacy for the European Court of Auditors.
But a British MEP who attacked his nomination will be absent from the hearing for "personal reasons" as she has been called away.
Last night, the Government said the nomination of Mr Cardiff was brought to the Cabinet by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore and Finance Minister Michael Noonan.
"It wasn't the subject of a memo," a government spokesman said.
Mr Cardiff's nomination has been the source of some disquiet within the Cabinet.
Normally, a proposal is brought to Cabinet by just one minister. Curiously, in Mr Cardiff's case, the nomination was brought by the three most senior members, covering both coalition parties.
The nomination has to be approved by the Budgetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament.
Mr Cardiff will be subjected to questions for 40 minutes this afternoon. A number of committee members have said they are aware of the controversy around the nomination, particularly the €3.6bn accounting error in the Department of Finance and the secretary general's role during the banking crisis.
Sources say the committee vote on Mr Cardiff may be postponed due to lack of members present.
UK Independence Party Marta Andreasen won't be present for the hearing.
Ms Andreasen is the former chief accountant of the European Commission and has called for Mr Cardiff's nomination to be withdrawn in light of the recent accounting error.
"When you chose somebody to become an auditor, this person should be beyond doubt. I think with Kevin we have doubts, and therefore he shouldn't be considered for the post.
"Now they claim it was the system, but there are a lot of things being claimed to diminish the responsibility of Mr Cardiff -- but the reality is he had the utmost responsibility of the accounts of Ireland, and that is the issue," she added previously on RTE's 'Morning Ireland'.