February 4, 2023

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Corruption: European Parliament approves Greece’s election of Eva Kyli

The European Parliament, rocked by a corruption scandal involving Qatar, is preparing to ratify Eva Kylie on Tuesday, a Greek MEP charged, as the first step before reforming the institution that wants to quickly restore its credibility.

At the heart of the case, Ms Kylie, who occupies one of Parliament’s 14 deputy speaker positions, is due to be removed from the ceremony on Tuesday for “gross misconduct”.

President Roberta Metzola announced that a two-thirds majority would be needed in a plenary session vote in Strasbourg scheduled for noon (11:00 GMT), after a “unanimous” decision by the Conference of Presidents, the political body of the European Parliament. .

Elected socialist Ms Kylie, who was jailed in Belgium on Sunday, is suspected of being paid by Doha to protect the interests of the emirate, which is currently hosting the World Cup. Three more people were jailed in the trial, which was led by a Belgian investigating judge.

Eva Kylie’s lawyer confirmed on Tuesday that she had not accepted any “bribes from Qatar”. “His position is that he is innocent. He has nothing to do with Qatari bribes,” Michalis Dimitrakopoulos told Greek television.

But bags of tickets were found at his apartment in the Belgian capital.

During the 20 raids already conducted, the Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office announced that a total of hundreds of thousands of euros had been seized from three suspects, in three different locations. Police searched the parliament premises in Brussels on Monday to seize data from parliamentarians.

The scandal threatens the credibility of the entire European Parliament, an assembly that has been at the forefront of condemning corrupt practices in some countries within the EU, most recently Viktor Orbán’s Hungary.

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Roberta Metzola expressed “anger, rage and regret” on Monday, announcing an “internal investigation” to examine all the facts and an in-depth review of the company’s practices.

He denounced malicious actors associated with authoritarian third countries who “clearly used NGOs, trade unions, individuals, assistants and MEPs as weapons” against European democracy.

“We will ask for more transparency about who has access to our premises, how these institutions, NGOs and people are funded, what connections they have with third countries, meetings with foreign actors,” Maltese promised. Officer.

– “tip of the iceberg” –

The agenda for Tuesday’s session has been changed to include a debate on the matter at 4:30pm (3:30pm GMT) in addition to the midday vote. Finally, a text pleading for greater transparency in European institutions will be put to a vote on Thursday.

German Social Democrat MEP René Repasi, like other elected officials, fears the Kylie affair is just the beginning. “I’m very afraid that what we see here is only the tip of the iceberg,” he told AFP, adding that other political groups are not immune to concerns.

“We need a transparent, honest Europe and we need to act now,” said Green MEP Yannick Jadot. “At a moment of very strong distrust of politics, it creates the feeling that an elite is lining their pockets at a time when Europeans are suffering,” said the elected French, who worry the case is fueling the far-right.

Doha has denied any involvement in corrupt practices.

Eva Kylie, a 44-year-old former TV presenter and MEP since 2014, visited Qatar in early November, where she welcomed the emirate’s social reforms, in the presence of Qatar’s labor minister.

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Excluded from the Greek Socialist Party (Bazok-Kinal), where she was already a controversial figure, but excluded from her political group in the European Parliament (S&T, left) on Monday, Eva Kaili did not benefit from her parliamentary immunity. Found in Deadly Delicto.

His assets have been frozen by the Greek Anti-Money Laundering Authority.

Belgian courts will examine on Wednesday whether he remains in custody along with the other three jailed men.