EU Socialist MP Suspected of Taking Over $100,000 in Bribes – Report

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - DECEMBER 13 : Marc Tarabella leaves the PS building after he talked wi
Bert Van Den Broucke / Photonews via Getty Images

A socialist MP working within the EU is suspected to have taken over $100,000 in bribes over the past two years, a report from the bloc’s parliament has claimed.

Marc Tarabella, a Socialist Belgian MEP working within the European Parliament, is reportedly suspected of having received over $100,000 in bribes for giving support to unnamed third-party countries, an EU report has claimed.

Tarabella is one of a number of left-wing MEPs suspected of being involved in the corruption scandal, which has largely revolved around allegations that nations such as Qatar and Morocco have been giving money to various representatives in the hopes of gaining their support within Brussels.

According to the document made available on the European Parliament’s website on Tuesday, Tarabella is suspected of receiving payments totalling somewhere between €120,000 and €140,000 (~$130,000-$150,000), for which he is described as having “supported certain positions within the European Parliament in favour of a third country”.

A separate report published on the same day meanwhile describes Tarabella’s fellow socialist, Italian MEP Andrea Cozzolino, as being suspected of being involved in similar “acts of corruption”.

The paper alleges that Cozzolino is suspected of having since 2019 “participated in an agreement with other persons to cooperate in protecting the interests of foreign states in the European Parliament, not least by impeding the adoption of parliamentary resolutions that might damage the interests of those states, in exchange for sums of money”.

The parliament is now set to vote on whether to strip both men of their legal immunity on Thursday, with POLITICO reporting that the next steps will be up to authorities in Belgium — where the corruption is being investigated — to decide.

Dubbed Qatargate after one of the nations thought to be involved in the rampant bribery, the ongoing corruption scandal plaguing leftists within the European Union has left many questioning the integrity of those in Brussels and has greatly damaged the credibility of the institution as a whole.

As part of the investigation into the scandal, police in Belgium are said to have uncovered large amounts of physical cash, some of which was reportedly hidden in suitcases and properties in the country.

So far, the highest profile individual implicated in the scandal is the now-former socialist European Parliament VP Eva Kaili, who was stripped of her position shortly after being thrown into pre-trial detention in relation to the scandal.

Meanwhile, fellow socialist and former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri has been reported as admitting to being involved in “corruption” relating to the scandal, and has reportedly agreed a deal with Belgian authorities that he will receive more lenient treatment in exchange for handing over valuable information on his alleged co-conspirators.

“He also acknowledges participating in a criminal organization, and according to the terms used by the public prosecutor’s office, he acknowledges being the leader or one of the leaders of the criminal organization,” Panzeri’s lawyer, Laurent Kennes, confirmed in relation to the agreement.

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