Next scandal in the EU Parliament
Roberta Metsola was invited to a luxury hotel
After the Eva Kaili scandal, Parliament Speaker Roberta Metsola is now also suspected of accepting inappropriate gifts.
Published: 17 minutes ago
Updated: 16 minutes ago
EU Parliament President Roberta Metsola is said to have been invited to a 5-star hotel in France with her husband.
EU Parliament President Roberta Metsola (44) has to put up with questions about a stay with her partner in a French luxury hotel. As the news portal “Politico” revealed on Friday, the costs for the overnight stay were taken over by a French wine brotherhood last October. Metsola’s spokesman confirmed the information to the German Press Agency.
Metsola made the trip public last week after parliament was rocked by a corruption scandal. However, she did not state that her partner accompanied her on the trip. According to parliamentary rules, she should have reported the trip at the end of November last year.
According to “Politico”, the Christian Democrat from Malta traveled to France for an appointment with a wine brotherhood and was accommodated by them in a five-star hotel. A five-course dinner was part of the trip.
Accepted 125 gifts
It was initially unclear whether Metsola was now threatened with consequences. In theory, sanctions could be imposed. However, there is no automatism. The President of Parliament is actually responsible.
Metsola also made 125 gifts public just last week, which was also illegal. This was announced a few days ago. According to the listing, the politician gave most of the presents for the safekeeping of the parliamentary administration or stored them in her office. The latter were, for example, pictures, vases and books. Metsola’s spokesman stressed: “The President accepts gifts on behalf of the institution. She doesn’t keep them.”
Aside from Metsola, few other MPs have disclosed gifts in the relevant list since the beginning of 2020. Among them are the Green politician Hannah Neumann, Nicola Beer from the FDP and David McAllister and Daniel Caspary from the CDU. Metsola’s predecessor, David Sassoli, had not made any public trips or gifts from the side of the European Parliament during his tenure.
There is no criticism in Parliament
In view of the developments, there was initially no broad criticism of Metsola in Parliament itself. Green MEP Daniel Freund said: “There are probably more trips by other MEPs who have been ‘forgotten’ because these rules have not been properly enforced in the past.”
Metsola’s publications followed the corruption scandal in the EU Parliament. Among other things, the judiciary accuses the then parliamentary vice president Eva Kaili (44) of involvement in a criminal organization, money laundering and corruption. It is about alleged influence from Qatar and Morocco on political decisions of the European Parliament. (SDA/jwg)