On Tuesday, the majority of members of the European Parliament voted to remove Eva Kaili from her position as vice president.625 MEPs backed the proposal to end her term early, compared to one vote against and two abstentions.
It took a two-thirds vote for her to be removed as one of the 14 vice presidents of the organization.
Who is Eva Kaili?
Friday in Belgium, a 44-year-old Greek Social Democrat was detained on suspicion of taking payments from Qatar in exchange for pushing policies favourable to the Gulf state.
Kaili has been suspended from her position and is currently in police custody. According to Belgian officials, more details regarding the particular criminal allegations against her are scheduled to be released on Wednesday.
The Greek lawmaker and her three suspected accomplices are accused of receiving extravagant gifts and substantial quantities of money from Qatari operatives.
How does Kaili feel?
Qatar and the representative have both denied any wrongdoing. The attorney for Kaili, Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, stated on Tuesday that she “had nothing to do with Qatari bribery.”
Dimitrakopoulos stated on Greek television that he would neither confirm nor deny that substantial amounts of cash were discovered at her residence. Prosecutors in Belgium reported finding hundreds of thousands of dollars at the homes of various suspects and in a hotel room.
Several European legislators have demanded Kaili’s resignation. “Given the scope of the corruption scandal, it was the least we could ask of her,” Manon Aubry, co-chair of the Left group in the European Parliament, told Reuters.
Manfred Weber of the conservative European’s People Party said: “Our colleagues at the European Parliament have been deeply shocked. These developments represent a heavy burden.”
What’s the impact on parliament?
The issue has severely damaged the European Parliament’s reputation. The organization is the only EU entity whose members are directly chosen by the 27 member states.
It has also shaken the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group in the assembly, the second-largest coalition of centre-left parties in the 705-member chamber.
Several EU governments, particularly Germany, stated that the legitimacy of the 27-nation union was in danger.
Erik Marquardt, an MEP from the Green Party, told DW that the European Parliament is unable to rectify the problem when asked. “this damage cannot be repaired.”
“It’s straightforward to lose trust and very hard to regain it. And now I think we cannot ask for the trust of the people, and we have just to do our homework,” he said, adding that it was time to check which rules should be strengthened and enforced better to prevent such scandals in future.
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