Swedish Match says EU bribes totalled 60 million euros

Tobacco producer Swedish Match claimed Friday it was offered the opportunity to pay 60 million euros ($78 million) to thwart new EU tobacco legislation in a scandal that has cost Europe's top health official his job.

"I can say that those are the amounts we are talking about, and I'd also like to stress that for us the amount of money does not matter," company spokesman Patrik Hildingsson told AFP.

Health and consumer commissioner John Dalli said he had been asked to resign on Tuesday after he was cited in a tobacco-linked influence peddling .

The European Commission announced his resignation on Tuesday "with immediate effect" following an investigation by OLAF, the EU's anti-fraud office, into a complaint by Swedish Match.

The Maltese commissioner has maintained his innocence, claiming he is the victim of a tobacco lobbying campaign to block tough new rules to make smoking less attractive.

In February, Dalli oversaw proposals that would tighten regulations on the use of flavouring in tobacco, which would have included non- such as snus, or Swedish snuff.

Snus is a moist powder tobacco originating from dry snuff. Though its sale is illegal across the EU, it is manufactured and used in Sweden, which has an exemption, and Norway, which is not an EU member.

Hildingsson said the alleged 60 million euro bribe to a Maltese businessman with links to Dalli would have been paid in two installments, with 10 million euros due before was enacted and the remaining 50 million to be paid when the new rules were in place.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

EU health chief resigns in corruption scandal

Oct 16, 2012

(AP)—The European Union's health commissioner resigned Tuesday over corruption allegations involving tobacco laws but has denied any wrongdoing and has vowed to clear his name.

Study: Snuff users tend to obesity

Aug 25, 2006

A Swedish study finds that people who use snuff are more likely to be overweight and to have high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Recommended for you

Humiliation tops list of mistreatment toward med students

15 hours ago

Each year thousands of students enroll in medical schools across the country. But just how many feel they've been disrespected, publicly humiliated, ridiculed or even harassed by their superiors at some point during their ...

Surrogate offers clues into man with 16 babies

23 hours ago

When the young Thai woman saw an online ad seeking surrogate mothers, it seemed like a life-altering deal: $10,000 to help a foreign couple that wanted a child but couldn't conceive.

Nurses go on strike in Ebola-hit Liberia

23 hours ago

Nurses at Liberia's largest hospital went on strike on Monday, demanding better pay and equipment to protect them against a deadly Ebola epidemic which has killed hundreds in the west African nation.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge arrives in North Korea

Aug 31, 2014

It's pretty hard to find a novel way to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by now, but two-time Grammy-winning rapper Pras Michel, a founding member of the Fugees, has done it—getting his dousing in the center ...

Cold cash just keeps washing in from ALS challenge

Aug 28, 2014

In the couple of hours it took an official from the ALS Association to return a reporter's call for comment, the group's ubiquitous "ice bucket challenge" had brought in a few million more dollars.

User comments