Polish MEP says the European Union has been 'derailed'
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Former MEP Nigel Farage has demanded that an investigation is launched into other areas of the European Union, notably the European Commission, following the bombshell discovery. Detectives investigating accusations of corruption in the European Parliament seized bags stuffed full of €50 notes as Brussels was rocked by accusations of a bribery ring involving Qatar, Morocco, and a number of senior EU figures.
Writing for The Telegraph, Farage detailed the culture in the European Parliament, which sees MEPs treated “like VIPs” with “constant exposure to lobbyists of all types [with] big expense accounts”.
Large sums of cash were found in the homes of a number of figures, including €600,000 in notes at the address of an Italian politician.
An additional €150,000 was found in the luggage of a Greek MEP, with hundreds of thousands more found in her father’s possession.
The Greek MEP is a socialist, as were a number of those implicated, which amused Farage as he noted: “I must also admit to a moment’s amusement that a number of the implicated parties appear to be socialists. Will the DNA of the EU ever change?”
In total, over £1.3million was seized in a number of raids across Brussels and Italy, which included raids of the Parliament building.
Reports have emerged that up to 60 MEPs may be dragged into this ongoing scandal which is investigating claims that Qatar attempted to purchase influence to open up EU airspace and markets for Qatar.
Four people, including Greek MEP Eva Kaili, who was forced to stand down as vice-President of the Parliament, have so far been charged with corruption.
Those charged have denied any wrongdoing.
Mr Farage noted the cultural differences between Parliament in the UK and the EU in terms of what is considered acceptable behaviour from those in the political class.
He noted that “what other EU countries are prepared to tolerate is astonishing”, with UK politicians having parliamentary privilege but being under the law like everyone else, while MEPs have a level of immunity.
Farage noted that in Brussels politicians “enjoy immunity against prosecution in pursuance of their role as MEPS wherever they are, giving the sense of an ‘untouchable’ status.”
He added: “The fact is that the EU bigwigs have constructed a body of politicians and bureaucrats who make up what is, in effect, a separate class.
“The Brussels club…looks after its own.”
This notion was proven to be true after Francesco Giorgi, the partner of Kaili and an EU parliamentary assistant, admitted to his involvement in a Qatar bribery scandal.
According to a source with direct knowledge of the matter, Giorgi attempted to acquit his partner from any wrongdoing.
Giorgi’s confession made “a significant contribution” to the investigation, the source added.
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Belgian justice minister Vincent van Quickenborne told Belgian newspaper Le Soir: “It was a game-changer that state security has been working on for more than a year, together with foreign intelligence services, to map suspected bribery of MEPs by various countries.”
A spokesperson from Qatar has categorically denied any accusations of misconduct, stating that “any association of the Qatari government with the reported claims is baseless and gravely misinformed”.
With the bloc rocked by these accusations, Farage is keen to see all of the rot exposed from the European Parliament, where he worked in for over 20 years.
He said: “My contempt for this dishonest system knows no bounds.
“I only hope that the Belgian law enforcement agencies will next conduct an audit of other parts of the system – especially the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm.
“After all, that is where the real power to make laws and decide policy lies.”
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