EU handout: Phil Hogan in line for €300,000 golden handshake after being forced to resign
We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.
Mr Hogan stepped down from his post on Wednesday after being criticised for attending a social event at a golf club in the west of the country. The event was attended by approximately 80 people, in breach of new coronavirus restrictions. Now it has emerged the Fine Gael party leader is eligible for monthly payments for a maximum of two years – at the expense of European taxpayers.
Mr Hogan’s salary prior to his resignation stood at €273,000 a year.
According to the EU’s formula, he could therefore be paid as much as €300,000 over the course of three years, the Irish Independent reported.
The controversy has caused massive waves in Ireland, with Ireland’s Agriculture Minister, Dara Calleary, also quitting his post, and several other prominent politicians likewise implicated.
Both Ireland’s Taoiseach Micheal Martin and his predecessor, and Fine Gael leader, Leo Varadkar, called for Mr Hogan to quit after his attendance was revealed.
Assessing the situation, Ray Bassett, Ireland’s former ambassador to Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas, told Express.co.uk this week: “Once the Irish Government made it clear that they wanted Hogan to resign, then it became very difficult for Ursula von der Leyen to keep him.
“Hogan made a big mistake in breaking the COVID-19 guidelines but there is a danger now that the trade position in Brussels could be lost to Ireland at a key time.
“There is no guarantee that Hogan’s replacement as Irish Commissioner will be given this important portfolio.
“That would be a self-inflicted injury.”
Confirming his resignation, Mr Hogan said: “It was becoming increasingly clear that the controversy concerning my recent visit to Ireland was becoming a distraction from my work as an EU Commissioner and would undermine my work in the key months ahead.
EU farming farce: France gets nearly THREE times more funding than UK [STATISTICS]
Brexit alarm bells ring as Lagarde makes bleak prediction for EU [COMMENT]
Furious Brexit row erupts on Jeremy Vine as guests in heated clash [VIDEO]
“I deeply regret that my trip to Ireland – the country that I have been so proud to represent as a public servant for most of my adult life – caused such concern, unease and upset.
“I reiterate my heartfelt apology to the Irish people for the mistakes I made during my visit.”
An Irish Government statement issued subsequently said: “We believe that it is the correct course of action given the circumstances of the past week.
“We all have a responsibility to support and adhere to public health guidelines and regulations.”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Mr Hogan’s boss, who had asked him for an explanation after news of the breach broke, said: “I respect his decision.
“I am very grateful to him for his tireless work as a Trade Commissioner since the start of this mandate and for his successful term as Commissioner in charge of Agriculture in the previous College.
“He was a valuable and respected member of the College.
“I wish him all the best for the future.”
Mr Hogan’s resignation, which comes less than a year into his term, means Ireland will have to nominate a new representative to the Commission.
Mr Varadkar’s name has been mentioned, along with Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, among others.
Express.co.uk has asked the European Commission for a comment on transition payments in respect of Mr Hogan.
Source: Read Full Article