European Parliament Scandal: The Fall of Eva Kaili, Greek MEP

The European Parliament is one of the most important institutions in the EU. It has been rocked by scandal after scandal for years, with a new one just breaking this week. Eva Kaili, a Greek MEP from Syriza and former journalist came to prominence in 2013 when she was elected as an MEP on an anti-austerity platform. She quickly became a member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and chaired its Sub-Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion, and Tax Avoidance.

Everyone in Brussels Is Talking About Eva Kaili

The Belgian police arrested the Greek MEP on Friday as part of a “major investigation” and accused him of “participating in a criminal organization, money laundering, and corruption.”

Eva Kaili is suspected of illegal lobbying in favor of a Persian Gulf state, which Belgian media has identified as Qatar, the contentious host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

According to reports, the politician was “caught in the act,” which is the only situation that results in an immediate revocation of parliamentary immunity. For their alleged involvement in the plan, her father Alexandros, and her husband Francesco Giorgi were also taken in for questioning.

The scandal has sparked a firestorm in Brussels, with new twists and turns emerging almost by the hour.

Who is Eva Kaili?

Kaili, who holds degrees in architecture, civil engineering, and European affairs, started her career as a journalist for MEGA Channel in her native Greece.

Eva Kaili is a Greek politician who has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2009. She was a member of the ruling socialist party, PASOK, until she left in 2012 to join the newly formed Democratic Left (DIMAR).

Eva Kaili’s political career began when she became an advisor to Andreas Papandreou during his time as Prime Minister. She then served as Deputy Mayor of Athens and also held ministerial positions in various departments including Health, Environment, and Public Works. She had already been elected as a national legislator in the Hellenic Parliament.

As the Greek crisis worsened, Kaili ran for and was elected to the European Parliament in 2014. She joined the powerful Socialists and Democrats (S&D) party, the second largest formation in the hemicycle, and quickly earned a reputation as media-friendly and approachable.

Kaili built a solid reputation as a legislator by actively participating in the EU’s burgeoning digital agenda and gaining access to challenging files on topics like blockchain, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity. She earned a monthly post-tax salary of €7,146 as an MEP as of 2021, in addition to a general allowance of €4,778 and paid travel costs.

Greek MEP Eva Kaili

The Scandal Surrounding Eva Kaili

Five people have been arrested as a result of a high-profile scandal in Brussels, including European Parliament vice president Eva Kaili. They have been charged with money laundering and corruption. Investigators believe Qatar bribed officials in order to sway decisions.

The arrests follow an investigation into allegations that FIFA World Cup 2022 host Qatar bribed current and former European Parliament officials in order to influence high-level decisions.

Belgian police raided 16 properties across Brussels earlier on Friday, seizing €600,000 (Rs 523 crore) in cash as well as computers and phones. Eva Kaili, Vice President of the European Parliament, and her partner Francesco Giorgi are among those charged. Pier Antonio Panzeri, a former member of the European Parliament, the head of a Brussels-based union, and an unnamed Italian national are also being investigated.

Following the arrests of four people on suspicion of corruption and money laundering, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed concern, calling the accusations “very serious.” According to German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, the response will put “Europe’s credibility to the test.”

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