Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Rethink urged over EU finance job

Minister for Finance Micheal Noonan has given his full backing to Kevin Cardiff
Minister for Finance Micheal Noonan has given his full backing to Kevin Cardiff

Three MEPs have called for a rethink over the nomination of a senior finance civil servant to a top job in Europe following a 3.6 billion euro accounting blunder.

While Cabinet ministers insist they support Kevin Cardiff despite the embarrassing miscalculation, both Fine Gael and Labour politicians in Brussels have warned over his suitability.

Nessa Childers, from junior Government party Labour, was adamantly opposed to Mr Cardiff's nomination.

"My opinion has always been quite clear about this from the very beginning when I first heard of his appointment," she said.

"I felt he was inappropriate even before the 3.6 billion euro incident.

"In the circumstances - of the preceding years and his economic background, where he was during the last few years - he's not appropriate."

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has given his full support to Mr Cardiff, the outgoing Department of Finance secretary general, as a candidate for the plum role on the European Court of Auditors.

He will be grilled by a special committee on Thursday for the 180,000 euro-a-year post.

Mr Cardiff was head of the Department of Finance when the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), the borrowing and lending wing of government, flagged up the potential 3.6 billion euro miscalculation.

Mr Cardiff was quizzed by Irish politicians last week on the double count. It also emerged the NTMA had warned of the risk as far back as a year ago.

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