Wednesday, March 17, 1999 Published at 17:49 GMT
The EU crisis in quotes
The 144-page independent report from the Committee of Independent Experts found no evidence of fraud on the part of the commissioners themselves, but concluded: "It is difficult to find anyone who has even the slightest sense of responsibility."
Commission President Jacques Santer was criticised over allegations of fraud in the commission's security office, for which he was responsible. The report said of him: "No supervision was exercised and a state within a state was allowed to develop."
But Mr Santer said: "I'm whiter than white." He protested: "I have no guilt whatsoever."
Member states began the search for a new president. UK Prime Minister Tony Blair said Mr Santer's successor "has got to be a political heavyweight capable of providing leadership and authority."
She admitted: "Perhaps I have been a little careless."
Ms Cresson also protested that the report "no longer contains the expressions that I saw on Sunday [14 March] when reading the passages regarding me. The report was changed in an unfavourable and untruthful way" .
Commission vice-president Sir Leon Brittan branded the mass resignation "a disaster".
He said: "There's been a loss of control. We have resigned. The important thing now is to decide how to handle it."
The day after news of their resignation broke, the commissioners were anxious to discharge their duties, and urged their member states to appoint a replacement commission as soon as possible.
"We have resigned and have no desire or intention of remaining in office a moment longer than we have to."