In view of the corruption scandal in the European Parliament, politicians are calling for far-reaching consequences - and fear further revelations about possible bribes paid by the extremely rich Gulf Emirate of Qatar.
Regarding the spectacular arrest of Greek Vice President Eva Kaili, FDP politician Alexander Graf Lambsdorff told "Bild" that the events were sad, unbelievable and reason enough for the 44-year-old to "vacate her post immediately". So far, Kaili, who was taken into custody according to media reports, has only been released from her duties.
Green politician Reinhard Bütikofer said: "Corrupt people have no place as members or employees in the European Parliament." He feels anger and bitterness "because the shameless actions of individuals threaten to damage the entire institution".
EU politicians: "Those who act like this want to buy the world"
The EU parliamentarian Dennis Radtke (CDU) said "Bild": "The sheikhs from Qatar not only buy a football World Cup and its greedy officials and protagonists for 200 billion dollars, now they don't stop at politicians either. wants to buy the world. And unfortunately that has now succeeded in Europe, in the European Parliament, in which the elected representatives of 27 nations sit."
Radtke stressed that he feared "the biggest corruption scandal in European politics if bags with banknotes of several 100,000 euros were found at the home of those arrested". One must assume "that much more will be uncovered". He called for the EU-wide review and expansion of transparency and lobbying rules for third countries and lobby companies founded by them, as well as a committee of inquiry to clarify the allegations against Kaili.
Kaili is said to have received money from the Gulf state of Qatar so that she could influence political decisions for the World Cup host country. The social democrat from Greece was arrested along with five other suspects. Four of them were taken into custody yesterday by arrest warrant - including Kaili herself, according to the media.
Also suspected of money laundering
In addition to allegations of bribery and corruptibility, there is also the suspicion of money laundering. Kaili was relieved of all her duties by Parliament Speaker Roberta Metsola over the weekend. So far she was one of a total of 14 deputies. The decision has yet to be formally confirmed by Parliament. The Social Democratic faction - to which the SPD MPs belong - has already suspended its membership. Her party excluded her.
Also arrested were a former Social Democrat MEP from Italy, Antonio Panzeri, and Kaili's Italian partner. As the newspaper "Le Soir" and the magazine "Knack" reported on Sunday, both were also imprisoned in custody. "They are accused of involvement in a criminal organization, money laundering and corruption," prosecutors said. The examining magistrate released two other arrested persons.
The house of another MEP was searched on Saturday evening. According to media reports, it is the Belgian social democrat Marc Tarabella. His party announced on Sunday evening that it had quoted Tarabella before an internal party committee.
pockets full of cash
During the searches in Brussels on Friday, a total of 600,000 euros in cash and mobile phones were confiscated. According to media reports, investigators later found pockets full of cash in Kaili's apartment.
The World Cup host Qatar has been criticized for years because of the human rights situation and the conditions for foreign workers. Numerous members of the then FIFA Executive Committee, which awarded the World Cup to Qatar in 2010, have now been convicted of corruption. However, Qatar itself has always denied allegations of bribery.