The focus is on the informal meeting planned by Parliament Speaker Roberta Metsola this afternoon with the leaders of the parliamentary groups, which, according to AFP information, “is about the dismissal of Kylie and other steps.” One of the largest corruption scandals in the history of the European Parliament relates to investigations into bribery, suspected corruption, money laundering and attempts to influence the political decisions of a Gulf emirate.
According to media reports, Kylie and five other suspects were arrested by Belgian authorities on Friday. €600,000 in cash was also secured during the search of 16 homes. Four of those arrested are still in detention. It remains to be seen if the allegations will be proven – the presumption of innocence applies.
The issue of corruption in the European Parliament
In connection with the corruption scandal in the European Parliament, four suspects were arrested on Sunday under an arrest warrant. Several media outlets have reported that the arrested deputy speaker of parliament, Eva Kaili, is said to be among them.
In response to the arrest, Metsola-Kaili withdrew all powers, duties and responsibilities as one of the 14 Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament on Saturday. Only EU parliamentarians can jointly decide on Kylie’s dismissal. Despite the required two-thirds majority, this should only be a formality.
Visa liberalization for a fluctuating Qatar
According to the Belgian media, the Gulf country may be behind the corruption allegations, with Kylie mainly praising Qatar. But the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Qatar strongly rejected this. “Any association by the Qatari government with the reported allegations is baseless and seriously ill-considered.” Qatar operates in accordance with applicable international laws and regulations.
However, the incident could have repercussions for the country. Specifically, representatives of several parliamentary groups in the European Union on Sunday spoke in favor of postponing negotiations on visa facilitation for citizens of the emirate, which were supposed to start on Monday.
The head of the CDU/CSU group in the European Parliament’s conservative EPP group, Daniel Caspari, demanded, “If the European Parliament has been affected by money from external forces, then the proceedings in Parliament must first be stopped.” “In this case, of course, there can be no visa liberalization for Qatar,” said German Eric Marquardt. Against the liberalization of Parliament’s visa”.
Qatar flight has been cancelled
According to Agence France-Presse, a spokesman for the European Parliament confirmed on Sunday the cancellation of a scheduled visit by members of the European Parliament from the Foreign Affairs Committee to Qatar “due to the current circumstances.” Within two weeks, a group of deputies was supposed to travel to Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The trip to Saudi Arabia will take place as planned.
The EU’s commissioner for the economy, Paolo Gentiloni, told Italy’s Rai 3 TV channel that the issue appeared to be “very serious”. “If it is confirmed that someone took money to influence the opinion of the European Parliament, it would indeed be one of the most sensational stories of corruption in recent years.”
Referring to Kayley, Germany’s European Parliament vice-president Katarina Parly told Reuters: “The SPD group has already stopped her and will ask her to be voted out of her position as vice-president of the parliament.”
Among other things, Vice-President of the European Parliament Otmar Karas (ÖVP) said that Kylie should be removed from office. Angelika Winzig, head of the ÖVP delegation, even brought up Greece’s seat for discussion. “If the allegations are true, she may no longer serve as a member of the House,” Tiny said Sunday.
Schaidreiter (ORF) regarding the arrests
ORF correspondent Raffaela Schaidreiter reports, among other things, on Eva Kayley’s arrest and how it went. They also report on the general week beginning on Monday and how people will react to the event there.
Belgian Social Democrats summon members of the European Parliament
Caspary also asked the Socialists to clarify whether other MPs or staff in the parliamentary group could be affected or who might be aware of allegations of corruption in the chamber.
In Belgium, the Socialist Party has summoned MP Marc Tarabella to an internal party committee in connection with a corruption scandal in the European Parliament. MEPs will be heard in the coming days, the party announced Sunday via Twitter.
The Belgian public prosecutor had previously announced that the home of another deputy had been searched in the corruption complex surrounding the European Parliament on Saturday night, but he did not name him. According to media reports, it is Tarabella. In the first reaction of the Belga News Agency, he confirmed that he had “nothing to hide at all.”
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