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Corruption scandal rocks EU institutions

Jerome Hughes
Press TV, Brussels

Just a few weeks ago, on November 21, Greek MEP Eva Kaili gave a robust speech in the European Parliament, praising Qatar. The former TV presenter also rounded on her fellow lawmakers for criticizing the Qatari government.

Qatar denies involvement, but Kaili has now been charged by Belgian police as part of a corruption investigation. They raided 16 homes in Brussels on Friday and seized €600,000 in cash along with computers and phones. Trade union boss, Luca Visentini, and former MEP, Antonio Panzeri, have also been questioned. Greek authorities have frozen all of Eva Kaili's assets and those of her family.

Some who have worked inside the European Parliament are not surprised by this scandal.

Questions are now also being asked about positive statements made towards Qatar by European Commissioner Margaritis Schinas. Journalists had to force a response during a Monday press conference.

Apart from being extremely serious, analysts say this is very embarrassing for EU authorities as they always present the bloc as being whiter than white, pointing the finger at alleged corruption around the world.

It's understood that officials here in the EU are bracing themselves. Sources tell us there will be further revelations in the coming days.

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