The European Commission on Tuesday called for zero tolerance against the alleged Qatar bribery scheme to gain political and economic weight in the European Parliament, after ensuring that “the full weight of the law” must fall against those involved to regain the confidence of citizens in the institutions and the European project.
In an emergency parliamentary debate to address the scandal involving the former vice president of the European Parliament, the Greek Socialist Eva Kaili, just hours after being dismissed by the institution, the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, stressed that the allegations are “extremely serious” and insisted that the institutions must now support the investigations, that the culprits are brought to justice and that politicians “banish corruption wherever it is”.
“The fight against corruption is critical for the EU and to do that we must first get our house in order. Our standards must be the highest, it is what we expect from others and we must set them ourselves,” he defended in front of MEPs.
At least 500,000 euros in cash have been found by the Belgian police in about 20 searches of homes including that of Kaili and former Italian MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri. In addition, the offices of several MEPs and parliamentary assistants were searched at the European Parliament’s headquarters in Brussels.