UPDATE 1-EU reviews ex-commissioner Kroes' offshore directorship

jueves 22 de septiembre de 2016 08:55 GYT

* Ex-antitrust, tech commissioner in spotlight after Bahamas leaks

* Commission's president Juncker seeks clarification from Kroes

* Bahamas documents trigger new calls to fight tax avoidance (adds new comments from Commission, political reactions)

By Francesco Guarascio and Alastair Macdonald

BRUSSELS, Sept 22 (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Thursday it was looking into whether to take action against former EU commissioner Neelie Kroes for failing to declare a directorship of an offshore firm in the Bahamas.

Kroes, who was the Commission's anti-trust chief and then oversaw digital affairs under former president Jose Manuel Barroso for a decade until 2014, confirmed to newspapers which published leaked Bahamas documents that she should have declared her interest in the offshore company.

A spokesman for the European Commission said the EU executive is seeking further clarification from Kroes in addition to information now provided by the former commissioner. He did not rule out sanctions for Kroes if it was established that she failed to declare the directorship in the Bahamas.

The revelation comes at an awkward time for the Commission, which is battling to regain public trust following the British vote to leave the Union. Against a rise of nationalist and anti-establishment parties across Europe, it is fighting to change an impression that it is too close to big business.

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has already made clear his irritation with his predecessor Barroso for taking a job with U.S. bank Goldman Sachs this summer.   Continuación...