This proposal was made by the so-called Conference of Presidents, including Parliament President Roberta Matsola, the German Press Agency learned on Tuesday from parliamentary circles. The final decision on this now lies with the plenum of Parliament, which should vote on it on Tuesday.
Metsola had already addressed Parliament in an urgent speech on Monday. She spoke of anger, rage and grief at the revelations. “The European Parliament, dear colleagues, is being attacked, European democracy is being attacked, and our kind of open, free, democratic society is being attacked.”
Metsola stripped former TV presenter Kaili, one of 14 vice-presidents of parliament, of all powers in this post over the weekend. She was expelled from her Greek Pasok party and the Social Democratic group in the European Parliament. In order to remove her as Vice President, at least two-thirds of the MPs have to agree to the proposal.
Greek social democrat Kaili is one of six suspects arrested by Belgian authorities since Friday in the corruption scandal. Four of them were remanded in custody on Sunday, including 44-year-old Kaili herself, her boyfriend and former MEP Antonio Panzeri.
They are accused of involvement in a criminal organization, money laundering and corruption. It is rumored that the Gulf Emirate of Qatar, which is currently hosting the soccer World Cup, has tried to influence political decisions in the European Parliament with extensive monetary and material gifts. At the EU level, for example, consideration is currently being given to easing the visa rules for Qatari citizens – the procedure in Parliament has been put on hold for the time being after the allegations of bribery. Qatar denied the allegations.
Meanwhile, authorities are continuing their investigation. On Monday, the anti-money laundering authorities in Kaili’s native Greece froze all the assets of the 44-year-old, her parents, her sister and her partner. In Brussels, investigators searched premises in the EU Parliament at the beginning of the week. Data was confiscated from the computers of ten parliamentary employees.