Kilkenny’s Phil Hogan still set for €300k EU job, Taoiseach snubs new Council President
By COLIN BARTLEY
AN TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has given Kilkenny’s EU Commissioner his full support by ignoring a request from the new president of the EU Commission.
Last week the new EU Commission president-elect Ursula von der Leyen, requested the name of both a man and a woman from each member state to be put forward as commissioner, as Ms von der Leyen wants to achieve a 50:50 gender balance in commission positions.
It has emerged Taoiseach Varadkar has ignored this request and is only putting the name of Phil Hogan forward for Irish commissioner to the EU.
The Taoiseach is using his influence to steer the former minister away from the post of EU competition commissioner as it could lead to conflicts of interest with tech giants based in Ireland.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, will lobby Commission president-elect Ursula von der Leyen, to give Phil Hogan a top portfolio in the commission, either transport, energy, or trade.
The role of competition commissioner is one the Taoiseach hopes Mr Hogan will avoid.
Tech companies such as Google, Facebook, and Linkedin are massive employers in Ireland, providing significant finance to the exchequer through personal taxation.
The Taoiseach is not willing to risk this relationship with the tech sector by placing Mr Hogan in a role that would effectively see him police the industry, interpret legal rulings, and hand down fines.