The remnant yearn for a return to their beloved EU – but the nefarious ‘Qatar money’ scandal proves it’s rotten to the core

SO MEPs were found with bags full of gold bars allegedly distributed by dodgy Gulf state officials. Source Surprise!

Blonde bombshell Eva Kaili, a Greek MEP, is among four charged with corruption after Belgian police raided her home.

Greek MEP Eva Kaili is one of four charged with corruption - but just because she was caught in the act didn't mean she could claim immunity

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Greek MEP Eva Kaili is one of four charged with corruption – but just because she was caught in the act didn’t mean she could claim immunityPhoto credit: AFP
The investigation found €1.5 million in cash in two houses, and some of the money is said to have Qatari fingerprints all over it

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The investigation found €1.5 million in cash in two houses, and some of the money is said to have Qatari fingerprints all over itPhoto credit: Getty
Former Italian MEP Pier-Antonio Panzeri was also detained by the police

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Former Italian MEP Pier-Antonio Panzeri was also detained by the policePhoto credit: Getty

The investigation found 1.5 million euros in cash in two houses. Some of the money is said to have Qatari fingerprints all over it.

Ex-MP Pier-Antonio Panzeri and Italian union boss Luca Visentini were also arrested by the police.

“They are accused of involvement in a criminal organization, money laundering and corruption,” said a spokesman for the investigating judge.

The staggering claims have led to Ms Kaili, a former TV news anchor, being stripped of her role as Vice-President representing the EU Parliament in the Middle East.

But just because she was believed to have been caught red-handed – “in flagranti” according to police – didn’t mean she could claim immunity under bizarre laws protecting the EU’s elite from jail.

Her lawyer insisted: “Eva maintains her innocence and that she has nothing to do with bribery from Qatar.”

The incorruptible Kingdom of Qatar issued its own denial.

“Any association by the government of Qatar with the reported claims is unfounded and seriously misinformed,” intoned one blunt-faced official.

Qatar is, of course, notorious for its brutal treatment of women, homosexuals and migrant workers, and for stuffing Fifa officials with gold in exchange for hosting the prestigious World Cup.

Kaili stirred anger last month with a video praising the repressive Arab state as a “great tool for political transformation and reform.”

Even for the European Union, riddled from head to toe with fraud, incompetence and corruption, the potential scale of this bribery scandal is staggering.

Greeks ridiculously claim their ex-TV star’s behavior could “damage our image”.

Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock pointed out that the “entire credibility” of the 27 EU member states is now at stake and said: “This is an incredible incident that must be fully clarified with all the power of the law.”

EU law professor Alberto Alemanno called it “the most shocking integrity scandal in the history of the EU”.

The row has even reignited bitter divisions among member states, with right-wing Hungarian hardliner Viktor Orban gleeful at Brussels’ “hypocrisy”.

Orban, who is under fire for his crackdown on free speech, tweeted a picture of EU leaders appearing to be laughing at corruption.

“Good morning to the European Parliament,” he scoffed.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen joined in the chorus and called for a new “code of ethics” for EU parliamentarians.

shady money

Bit late for that, Ursula.

No one should be surprised by this storm of confided innocence.

It's a bit late for Ursula von der Leyen to introduce a

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It’s a bit late for Ursula von der Leyen to introduce a “code of ethics” for EU parliamentariansCredit: AP

Corruption, large and small, has been part of everyday life in Brussels since the EU was just a six-nation market.

Nothing moves in its corridors of power without money changing hands in exchange for favors large and small. Eye-bleeding sums of tax money lubricate the wheels of an ever closer union.

Olive belt states in southern Europe have been “bribed” with huge infrastructure contracts. Dirt-poor countries suddenly sprouted new highways – sometimes to nowhere – littered with large signs honoring the mighty EU.

Mafia gangs raked in billions. The accession aspirations of ex-Soviet countries like Bulgaria and Romania turned EU fraud into a form of organized crime – until the money ran out and recipient countries like Ireland had to pay in.

Every year, thanks to a blizzard of shady money, official auditors refused to approve and sign the EU’s messy accounts.

The euro itself – the EU’s greatest triumph or greatest disaster, depending on your point of view – is a symbol of Brussels arm-twisting and cheating, a device used by the French to keep Germany in line.

In 1995, whistleblower Bernard Connolly warned in his bombshell book The Rotten Heart Of Europe that the single currency would one day cripple the EU economy.

Rapid inflation is bringing this forecast to life.

In 1999, when the euro was about to be born, the entire European Commission – including former Labor leader Neil Kinnock – had to resign amid corruption allegations.

Despite Ursula von der Leyen’s dream of new ethics, the EU bureaucracy is open to abuse by state-supported mediators.

Amazingly, non-EU countries are exempt from lobbying rules aimed at preventing MPs from lining their own pockets.

The fear in Brussels is that if Qatar dish out the dosh on such a scale, what will they get in return? And is Qatar alone? What other Gulf states — regimes as ruthless as Saudi Arabia — line lawmakers’ pockets?

And what about China and Russia openly using their financial and economic strengths to repress compliant decision-makers?

The EU, to quote Bernard Connolly, is rotten to the core.

But this is the European superstate that blind Remoans yearn for – an example of good government that wretched Britain alone cannot match.

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Could it be that Greek glamor girl Eva Kaili has dramatically proved them wrong?

And agreed with the 17,410,742 Britons when they voted for Brexit in 2016.

https://www.the-sun.com/news/6918754/european-union-qatar-cash-scandal-proves-rotten-core/ The remnant yearn for a return to their beloved EU – but the nefarious ‘Qatar money’ scandal proves it’s rotten to the core

DevanCole

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