When the extent of the EU corruption scandal became known last weekend, the MEPs were in shock, reports Malte Gallée, who sits for the Greens in the EU Parliament. In the 426th episode of the podcast "Today important" he describes the moment: "What the fuck is going on here? How can someone undermine our integrity so much and damage our reputations so much and question everything we stand for so much place?"
Socialist and ex-parliamentary vice president Eva Kaili is currently accused of membership in a criminal organization, money laundering and corruption. She was expelled from her Pasok party and the Socialist group in the European Parliament. Malte Gallée says: "Sure, you have to wait for the investigations, but we all firmly assume that they will come true. I mean, why else would you hide so damn much cash in the cot, that's really ready for a crime."
As much as this scandal looks like an exciting thriller with lots of cash and secret meetings, it is damaging to all MEPs and the entire institution of the European Union. Because this scandal also calls into action those who have problems with corruption themselves. Hungarian head of state Viktor Orban maliciously tweeted: "Welcome to the European Parliament." Malte Gallée sees major differences between the EU and Hungary when it comes to education: "I was really upset about Orban's reaction, but then calmed down quickly because the huge difference is that massive action is being taken against this corruption. This woman [Eva Kaili, ed.] is in prison, unlike all of Orban's people who are not being prosecuted."
After such a scandal, calls for more control are raised again, and guidelines are already in place. MEPs are not allowed to accept money for a political decision. Gifts costing more than 50 euros must be declared and there is a lobby register for meetings between pressure groups and politicians. According to Malte Gallée, the Green Group also demands that meetings with third countries also have to be declared. And he says in an interview with "today important" host Michel Abdollahi: "That you give information about your assets when you take office and when you leave office." In this way one can check whether the assets have increased significantly over time.
Most of the measures would not have helped against the sacks full of cash in Eva Kaili's apartment. By the way, Kaili says she doesn't know where the cash came from herself, only her partner can say something about that.
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