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rain of indignant reactions within the 27

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The arrest of the Vice-President of the European Parliament, for her alleged involvement in a corruption scandal linked to Qatar, has aroused many reactions within the Twenty-Seven. Several ministers on Monday called for a full and transparent investigation.

European Union foreign ministers expressed dismay on Monday (December 12th) after the revelation of Qatar’s alleged corruption scandal in the European Parliament. Several members of the institution, including its vice-president, the Greek socialist Eva Kaili, are suspected of having accepted money and gifts to influence the decision-making process of MEPs.

The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, for his part considered Monday “very worrying” the “serious accusations” brought against the Greek vice-president of the European Parliament, charged with corruption and money laundering and imprisoned Sunday in Brussels.

“This information is very worrying,” he said upon arriving at a meeting of European Union foreign ministers. “An investigation is underway and we are following it,” he said.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said the “full force of the law” must be applied in the case. “The credibility of Europe is at stake, and this must have consequences in different areas”, she underlined.

“This is a scandal about which we must bring the truth to light so that we can ensure that it does not happen again,” insisted the head of Irish diplomacy, Simon Coveney.

“A full and transparent investigation must be carried out in order to obtain an explanation of what happened,” he added.

Suspicions of corruption in the European Parliament are “very serious”, said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at midday.

Eva Kaili’s assets frozen in Greece

The Greek Anti-Money Laundering Authority announced on Monday that it would freeze all assets of the Vice-President of the European Parliament.

The measure targeting Eva Kaili, dismissed from the Greek socialist party Pasok-Kinal following this case, concerns “bank accounts, safes, companies and any other financial assets”, according to the president of the anti-money laundering authority, Haralambos Vourliotis, quoted by a member of the same organization.

Greek banking establishments and the competent State services have already been informed of this measure by the Anti-Money Laundering Authority, according to the same source.

The asset freeze also affects members of Eva Kaili’s close family, such as her parents.

“Bags of money” found

Eva Kaili and three other people, including a former Italian MEP, were arrested and imprisoned as part of an investigation by a Belgian judge into suspicions of payments made by Qatar to influence decisions taken in the European Parliament .

“Bags of tickets” were found in Eva Kaili’s apartment, we learned from a judicial source.

The arrests took place on Friday in Brussels after at least 16 searches as part of the investigation into suspicions of “substantial” money payments by a Gulf country to influence the decisions of MEPs.

The federal prosecutor’s office did not name the country, but a judicial source familiar with the matter confirmed to AFP that it was Qatar, as revealed by the Le Soir and Knack media.

“Any allegation of misconduct on the part of the State of Qatar testifies to serious misinformation,” a Qatari government official told AFP on Saturday.

The affair broke out in the middle of the 2022 World Cup, while the organizing country is working to defend its decried reputation for respect for human rights, especially those of workers.

With Reuters and AFP

France 24 Europe Fr Trans

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