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State of the Union: What have been the highest tales within the EU this week?


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Among the many EU establishments, the European Parliament is seen as the principle defender of moral requirements within the bloc — that is why the bribery scandal inside it, involving lurid revelations of suitcases full of money, got here as a shock.

This week, there have been some main developments:

Members elected a brand new vp, Marc Angel, to switch his Eva Kaili who was faraway from workplace due to her alleged involvement within the scandal.

The chamber additionally debated measures to strengthen its anti-corruption defence traces to keep away from additional reputational harm.

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And Pier Antonio Panzeri, the previous Italian MEP suspected of being on the epicentre of the scandal, struck a take care of the Belgian authorities below which he admits his prison participation and pledges to share every part he is aware of with investigators.

“Mr Panzeri is admitting as we speak to have actively participated in acts of corruption in reference to Qatar and in reference to Morocco and subsequently to have been corrupted and to have bribed others and he accepts the time period chief of the prison organisation,” Laurent Kennes, the lawyer of Panzeri instructed Euronews.

Shedding mild on each side of the scandal is one factor, taking the suitable measures to bolster transparency is one other matter.

President Metsola’s late declarations

This week, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola retroactively declared greater than 140 items that she had beforehand didn’t disclose.

Items like gold cash, a shawl, and a dried sausage – the latter was reportedly served at official enterprise.

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All this reveals you that transparency guidelines on the Parliament are restricted at finest, in line with the EU’s Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly.

“I believe the overwhelming majority of MEPs work with an excellent ethic and within the public service, however the factor is that the principles are so lax, or at occasions not being enforced, that if individuals want to behave badly, they’ll,” she mentioned.

Nick Aiossa, deputy director at Transparency Worldwide EU, instructed Euronews that the scandal did shock him.

“I’ve usually been requested, was this stunning to me? And my unlucky reply is, no. The one stunning ingredient of the scandal was the actual fact of the antiquated use of suitcases of money,” he mentioned.

“For years, MEPs cultivated a tradition of impunity with lax or nonexistent moral guidelines with little or no oversight. So, I consider that this tradition is likely one of the driving components of why we had the scandal come to mild.”

Greta will get carried away

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You possibly can say no matter you need about Qatar, however the nation helps Europe throughout the vitality disaster brought on by Russia’s conflict in Ukraine by offering extra gasoline.

That is a part of a scheme to rely longer on fossil fuels than anticipated, watering down Europe’s clear vitality coverage, a minimum of briefly.

Not all people likes that. In western Germany, protesters clashed with police this week over the growth of an open pit coal mine.

One among them was Greta Thunberg, the 20-year-old Swedish local weather activist.

However her distinguished title did not shield her: along with others she was kettled, carried away and briefly detained by police.

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“Local weather safety shouldn’t be against the law”, she later declared and went straight to the World Financial Discussion board in Davos the place she attacked huge corporations for obstructing a change in local weather coverage.


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