EU parliament chief to unveil reforms amid graft scandal


The president of the European Parliament will seek Monday to get ahead of a graft scandal that has rocked the legislature, by officially unveiling a series of reforms to clean up the multinational assembly. This as the parliament holds its first plenary session of 2023 in Strasbourg.

Many MEPs and observers believe the changes to be presented by Roberta Metsola on Monday will not be enough to be able to restore credibility in the institution.

The parliament has been the focus of intense scrutiny since the scandal broke open a month ago with the arrest of one of Metsola's 14 vice-presidents after Belgian police raided homes and offices of several MEPs, former MEPs, parliamentary aides and heads of NGOs that dealt with lawmakers.

Belgian prosecutors are investigating alleged graft in the European Parliament benefitting Qatar and Morocco. The police raids turned up €1.5 million in cash.

Qatar has denied having any role in any wrongdoing in the case. Morocco says it is the target of unjustified "media attacks" over the allegations.

Metsola's arrested vice-president Eva Kaili, a Greek MEP who has since lost that high parliamentary position, also has said through her lawyer that she knew nothing about cash found at her home.

The three male suspects are all Italian. According to a report in Belgian daily Le Soir on 15 December, Giorgi has made a confession.

(With AFP)

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