The EU trade commissioner Phil Hogan has resigned after being pressured by the Irish government. This is because he was recently accused of breaching the Covid-19 guidelines. On 19 August, Mr Hogan reportedly attended a golf dinner with more than 80 people in County Galway.
Aside from attending the golf dinner, he was also criticised for not complying with the quarantine rule when he arrived from Brussels. Mr Hogan said that he did not break any law but he “should have been more careful” in adhering to the guidelines as reported by BBC.
He arrived in the Republic of Ireland on 31 July and travelled to his temporary residence in Kildare. During a hospital visit on 5 August, he was tested negative for Covid-19.
In a statement to the Irish state broadcaster RTÉ, Mr Hogan said that he had not breached regulations. He also added that the test result meant he was “not under any subsequent legal requirement to self-isolate or quarantine”.
Ireland’s department of health has said that a movement restriction of 14 days is required by anyone who arrives in Ireland from a country, not on the green list. It is also said the guidelines do not state that a negative Covid-19 test shortens the 14-days requirement.
On Wednesday, 26 August Mr Hogan issued a statement apologising to the Irish people and the EU commission for causing hurt and embarrassment.
“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,” said the statement.
He was asked if the commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, forced him out. Mr Hogan responded to the question saying that the decision to quit was his.
“I resigned myself. I know how to take responsibility.”
Ursula von der Leyen also said that she respected his decision and was grateful for his work.”He was a valuable and respected member of the college,” she said. “I wish him all the best for the future.”
With great power, comes great responsibility. What do you think about this? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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