“To those evil actors in third countries who think that Europe is being sold. They think they can take over our NGOs. Let me tell you that you will find this Parliament firmly on its course.” These are the words of European Parliament President Roberta Mezzola at the opening of Monday’s plenary session following the macro raid that ended in the jailing of European Parliament Vice-President Eva Kyle, a Greek socialist. Collection of alleged bribes from Qatar.
“You will suspect,” Mezzola said: “The European Parliament is under attack, European democracy is under attack and our form of open, free and democratic societies is under attack.”
The President of the European Parliament added: “The enemies of democracy, for whom the existence of this Parliament is a threat, will stop at nothing. These nefarious actors linked to autocratic third countries allegedly used NGOs, unions, individuals, aides and members of the European Parliament to subvert our processes.”
The popular president of the European Parliament, the German Manfred Weber, confirmed that “the damage is too great, trust comes on foot, but it goes at a gallop. The European PP is ready to improve the rules, the fight against corruption is the main enemy of democracy.”
Socialist president Iratxe García, whose group held the arrested vice president until last Friday, said: “It is a difficult day for the group and we have decided to appear as the injured party in the legal process. The criminal behavior of some people undermines the credibility of the EU. The perpetrators must be made to pay and this House must respond forcefully to ensure that this does not happen again. Our unity is the best weapon against corruption and they want to harm European democracy.”
Mezzola explained that the Eucorámara “acted in harmony with the authorities to ensure that all legal steps are followed, all information is stored and computer equipment is protected if necessary, offices are closed and homes are searched. As an executive order, I have removed the aforementioned Vice President from all duties and responsibilities associated with the role of Vice President and called a special meeting of the Conference of Presidents to begin the process of terminating his term as Vice President to protect. integrity of this house.”
The chairman of the parliament also said: “Today I should have announced the opening of the mandate for negotiations with Qatar and Kuwait on the lifting of the visa-free regime. In light of the investigation, this conclusion should be returned to the commission.”
Left-wing co-chair Manon Aubry, the promoter of a motion to vote on a resolution on Qatar in the European Parliament in November, called for a special debate on the corruption conspiracy. “The European Parliament is involved in the most serious corruption scandal in its history. “Qatar bought votes in this chamber to cover up the exploitation of migrant workers to death at World Cup venues.”
On Aubrey’s initiative, a resolution on Qatargate will be voted on at the plenary session this week.
Metsola also said: “There will be no impunity, the responsible persons will find this parliament on the side of the law; Not to be swept under the rug, we will launch an internal investigation to find out all the facts; It will not happen as if nothing happened, we will start the reform process to see who has access to our buildings, how these organizations, non-governmental organizations and private individuals are financed, what connections they have with third countries, we demand more transparency. meetings with foreign and related actors; We will protect those who will help us uncover the crime.”
“While we can always ensure we increase deterrents and transparency, there will always be someone for whom a bag of money is worth the risk, the important thing is that these people understand that they will be caught, that our services are working and they will face the full weight of the law.”
More entries in the European Parliament
Belgian prosecutors announced on Monday, before European Parliament leaders gave their first reaction to the revelations of the conspiracy, that they had been investigating “corruption, money laundering and organized crime” for “more than four months”. “.
According to the information of the Public Ministry, “new records” were registered this Monday.
“Since Friday, with the support of the security services of the European Parliament, the computing resources of ten parliamentary teams have been made available. frozen In order to prevent the disappearance of the data necessary for the investigation”, the Prosecutor’s Office said on Monday: “The purpose of today’s recordings in the European Parliament was to remove this data. Sunday, December 11 also saw various records in Italy.
The Prosecutor’s Office explains that “a total of 20 searches have been conducted since the beginning of operations, including 19 in private homes and one in the offices of the European Parliament.”
In those records, agents seized “several hundred thousand euros in three different locations: €600,000 at the suspect’s home. [el ex eurodiputado Antonio Panzeri]Several hundred thousand euros in a suitcase in a Brussels hotel room [el padre de Eva Kaili] and about 150,000 euros in an apartment belonging to a member of the European Parliament [el de Eva Kaili]”.
At the moment, “six persons have been detained in this case.” Four of them, including a member of the European Parliament, are detained. These suspects will appear in the pre-trial chamber on Wednesday.”
The Prosecutor’s Office also explained that “the legal provisions for the registration of the addresses of the members of the European Parliament differ according to their nationality and location. In the event that Belgium conducts an investigation against a Belgian member of the European Parliament, the Belgian rules on the immunity granted to Belgian parliamentarians must be applied. In order to carry out the registration of a Belgian member of the European Parliament, the Belgian Constitution requires an order of the First President of the Court of Appeal at the request of the competent investigating judge and in the presence of the President of the relevant Assembly. in this case, the European Parliament). Both conditions were met this weekend. All this was done with the excellent cooperation and support of the Parliament’s security services. It should be noted that the existence of a crime even on the “red” allows for action and, in particular, to carry out a search even in the case of parliamentary immunity.
Source: El Diario