PM Meloni slams colleagues for referring to EU graft scandal as an 'Italian job'

© Guglielmo Mangiapane, Reuters

Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on Thursday slammed colleagues for characterising the Qatargate graft scandal at the European Parliament as an "Italian job," a reference to the 1969 heist film, calling the reference "a stain on our nation".

Earlier this month, Belgian authorities charged four people linked to the European Parliament on allegations that World Cup host Qatar lavished them with cash and gifts to influence decision-making in Strasbourg. Qatar has denied any wrongdoing.

The suspects in the scandal now known as "Qatargate" are Greek EU lawmaker Eva Kaili; Pier Antonio Panzeri, an Italian former Socialist EU lawmaker; Panzeri’s former assistant, EU assembly staffer and Kaili's partner Francesco Giorgi; and Niccolo Figa-Talamanca, the Italian secretary-general of a human rights NGO.

"One thing has made me very annoyed: many international colleagues define these facts with the phrase 'Italian job' as if it was a stain on our nation," Meloni was quoted as saying by the Italian media outlet Ansa.

(FRANCE 24 with Reuters)

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