Roberta Metsola, the President of the European Parliament, is to address what is perhaps the gravest corruption scandal to hit the hemicycle in recent years.
Metsola will comment on the ongoing scandal during her opening speech of December’s plenary at 17.00 CET. The speech will be broadcast live in the video player above.
Eva Kaili, one of the Parliament’s vice presidents, was arrested on Friday by Belgian police as part of a “major investigation” and has been charged with “participation in a criminal organisation, money laundering and corruption.”
Kaili is suspected of illicit lobbying in favour of a Persian Gulf state, which Belgian media has identified as Qatar, the controversial host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The Greek MEP was reportedly “caught in the act,” the only circumstance that triggers an immediate revocation of parliamentary immunity. Five men, including Kaili’s husband, Francesco Giorgi, who works as a parliamentary assistant, and former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, were also taken in for questioning.
On top of that, the house of a Belgian MEP, whose name has not been divulged by the authorities, was raided over the weekend.
Metsola had to fly back from Malta in order to be present for the police search, a legal requirement under Belgian law, a spokesperson told Euronews.
Every single group in the European Parliament has requested that a debate on the corruption scandal be held on Thursday. A vote on the matter is to be held later today.
Metsola and political group chairs will meanwhile convene for a Conference of Presidents on Tuesday morning to vote on whether to bring an end to Kaili’s term.
Watch the video above to follow Roberta Metsola’s speech.
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