GGGI scandal dooms development minister
Christian Friis Bach (R) has cut short a trip to Israel to fly home and resign from his position as the development minister, according to a number of sources.
Bach, who was in Israel meeting with Israeli and Palestinian officials, wouldn’t comment on the speculation, saying that he would reveal everything at a press conference this afternoon at 13:15.
“I will make a comment at a press conference later today and until then I have no comment. I will let everyone know at the same time,” Bach said, according to TV2 News.
GGGI to blame
The reports suggest that Bach is stepping down in light of new information related to the climate organisation Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI). GGGI came into the spotlight following revelations that Lars Løkke Rasmussen, the opposition leader and former PM, had enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle while serving as chairman of Danish taxpayer-supported GGGI.
An investigation has been initiated to look into the GGGI funding, which Bach, as development minister, is ultimately responsible. Bach, who also serves as a board member of GGGI, recently told parliament that he did not believe that the overspending in South Korea-based organisation equated to corruption.
But the development minister has been heavily criticised for not telling the government about the GGGI mess sooner, despite a report from the South Korean state auditor documenting the over-spending as far back as November 2012.
The internal auditor of the Development Ministry was due to report late last week how much the government knew about the GGGI mess, but that was reportedly delayed because of missing information.
According to DR Nyheder, the prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt (S), has already informed the government that Bach is stepping down.
It is believed that the Manu Sareen (R), the minister of equality and churches, and Sofie Carsten (R) are the front-runners to replace Bach as development minister.