EU President Vows That There Will Be 'No Impunity' in Response to Corruption Probe
by FARUK IMAMOVIC | VIEW 254
Roberta Metsola, the President of the European Parliament, has vowed that nothing will be "swept under the rug" after the Belgian authorities arrested and accused the Vice-President of the EP and Greek MEP, Eva Kaili, of corruption.
Four people have been indicted for allegedly receiving money and gifts from Qatar, with the aim of influencing the decisions of the European Parliament. During searches on Friday, the police confiscated a large amount of money, and among those arrested was Kaili.
They are accused of participating in criminal organizations, money laundering, and corruption. Due to her connection with the investigation, Kaili was stripped of all her powers, and the Greek socialist party PASOK and the socialist club in the EP expelled her from their ranks.
"None of those responsible will find this Parliament on their side," said Metsola, adding that more transparency on MEPs meeting with foreign actors is needed. "Make no mistake," she said. "The European Parliament, dear colleagues, is under attack.
European democracy is under attack, and our free and democratic societies are under attack."
Metsola announced a "reform process"
Leaders of the body's political blocs agreed with Metsola's statement. "These malign actors linked to autocratic third countries have allegedly weaponized NGOs, unions, individuals, assistants, and members of the European Parliament in an effort to subvert our processes," she said.
Metsola announced that a "reform process" would be launched to see who has access to the EP premises, how these organizations, non-governmental organizations, and people are financed, and what relations they have with third countries.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock commented on the situation, saying, "This is really an unbelievable incident that must now be cleared up, without ifs and buts, with the full force of the law." Belgian prosecutors, according to Reuters, said they had suspected for months that Qatar was trying to influence decisions in Brussels.
A source familiar with the case said it involved the host country of the World Cup, Qatar. Qatari officials have denied the allegations.