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Europe

Incoming Agriculture Commissioner in New Controversy

The incoming Danish Commissioner of Agriculture is embroiled in a new controversy after it has emerged that documentation from her accountants on her financial interests were co-written by the Danish Ministry of State.

As the owner of a large farm which receives EU subsidies, Mariann Fischer Boel aimed to clear herself of claims that she could have any personal financial interest in decisions for which she will be responsible for as Commissioner in charge of the EU agricultural budget. Having received independent documentation from Fischer Boel’s accountants, EU lawyers in mid-August put the case to rest by dismissing all charges of possible conflict of interests.But mail correspondence revealed on Tuesday by Politiken, has raised new questions. The daily reports that the so-called independent documentation was changed and corrected on a number of points in co-operation with the Ministry of State before being sent off to Brussels. The worry in Copenhagen is now whether the incoming Commissioner will face tough grilling when questioned by the European Parliament members in the first half of October. The new Commission, led by Jose Barroso, will start its work on Nov. 1 -- but first has to be approved by the European Parliament. (EUobserver.com)

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