A gallery of rogues – POLITICO

A gallery of rogues – POLITICO

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Paul Dallison writes Declassifiedweekly satirical column.

Until you’ve got been residing beneath a really massive rock, you will know that the European Parliament is within the highlight because of a scandal we’re calling Cathargate (and sadly not dough from Doha). It is a story that allegedly includes baggage of money and doable affect from Qatar and Morocco, and is popping into a serious take a look at of parliament’s accountability.

So it is time to have a look at the previous and current forged of characters within the meeting.

The overwhelming majority of MEPs are, in fact, hard-working, diligent varieties. However neglect about these individuals! What about those that are a bit of (or perhaps a lot) extra controversial?

There was no scarcity of this second group. Listed here are some pattern alternatives.

Elmar Brok

When he retired in 2019, the influential German had been an EU lawmaker for an unbelievable 39 years. They need to have named a room or a restaurant after him, or if that wasn’t doable, even a bench.

However there have been issues. Earlier than his departure, six former workers he told POLITICO about plenty of weird incidents, together with his behavior of throwing objects at them and smoking within the workplace. When requested in regards to the allegations, Brok denied making a poisonous workplace surroundings, admitting solely that “shut collaboration and annoying days imply there’s room for friction,” including: “I completely condemn any type of bodily or emotional abuse.

Former Member of the European Parliament Elmar Brok | Jean-Pierre Muller/AFP by way of Getty Photographs

Additionally in accordance with the paperwork obtained by POLITICO in 2019, Brok collected funds from teams of holiday makers to his workplace in Brussels, incomes himself not less than €18,000. Brok additionally confronted scrutiny of different monetary preparations. For years he held the place of German media giant Bertelsmann which earned him greater than €5,000 a month – on prime of his month-to-month wage as an MEP.

Robert Rochefort

Former Member of the European Parliament Robert Rochefort | Remy Gabalda/AFP by way of Getty Photographs

A French MEP was caught masturbating in entrance of two youngsters in a ironmongery shop exterior Paris in 2016 (cease making “this offers an entire new which means to DIY” jokes). Rochefort advised police was “stressed” and complained that he felt threatened when a witness to the incident tackled him to the bottom. Rochefort pleaded responsible, averted a public trial, and prosecutors selected to not publicize his sentence. Rochefort misplaced his place in France’s centrist MoDem celebration, however served out his mandate as a member of the European Parliament forward of Could’s elections.

Nigel Farage

You will not be shocked to study that Farage cherished the present scandal within the European Parliament, barely capable of cease himself from laughing as he advised each GB Information viewers that it was a disgraceful state of affairs. Little shock for the person whose UKIP celebration was ordered out by European Parliament leaders in 2016 return more than €172,000 in misused funds.

Former MEP and ex-Brexit celebration chief Nigel Farage | Ian Forsyth by way of Getty Photographs

Farage, as chances are you’ll bear in mind, was a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Fisheries (a reasonably necessary sector for an island nation just like the UK) and he did not precisely work onerous – in accordance with Green peacewithin the three years Farage was a member of the committee, he attended solely one in all 42 conferences.

Nonetheless, he’s entitled to an EU pension, the price of which is shared between the UK and the EU (so-called the latter share will probably be €35,640 per yr as soon as he reaches retirement age). This author’s contract mentions that Farage did not change into a British MP not less than seven instances and on one event acquired fewer votes than the person within the dolphin costume.

The Le Pen clan

One other former MEP who cheered the present scandal was the pinnacle of the French Nationwide Meeting, Marine Le Pen. “They dragged us via the mud for a superbly clear and authorized mortgage from a Czech Russian financial institution,” she stated on Twitter, referring to a €9 million mortgage her celebration secured in 2014. “On the identical time, Qatar was delivering suitcases full of money to all these corrupt individuals , who’re supposedly within the ‘good camp’.”

French Nationwide Entrance political celebration chief Marine Le Pen and her father, former celebration chief Jean-Marie Le Pen | Ian Langsdon by way of EPA

In fact, Le Pen had an advanced relationship with the European Parliament. The Court docket of Justice of the EU dominated that it ought to return almost €300,000 in misappropriated funds, together with cash she used to pay the wage of Chief of Workers Catherine Griset, a parliamentary assistant, though Griset didn’t work within the Meeting.

Le Pen too she paid her bodyguard Thierry Légier as an assistant to the EU Parliament and was pressured to take action pay back more than €41,000 for this offence. And her father – celebration founder Jean-Marie Le Pen – was ordered to repay greater than €320,000 in compensation to an assistant for work he couldn’t show was associated to his function as an MEP.

Janusz Korwin-Mikke

Former Member of the European Parliament Janusz Korwin-Mikke | Janek Skarzynski/AFP by way of Getty Photographs

The Polish former MEP is about as right-wing as you may get with out falling off the sting of the (flat) earth. Throughout a debate in regards to the pay hole, he as soon as stated that girls ought to earn much less cash than males “as a result of they’re weaker, they’re smaller. [and] they’re much less clever.” He additionally stated that the European Fee constructing “ought to be became a brothel”, however sadly didn’t produce an impression evaluation of his plans.

Béla Kovács

Former Member of the European Parliament Bela Kovacs | Yuri Kochetkov by way of EPA

A Hungarian MEP, a member of the far-right Jobbik celebration, misplaced his parliamentary immunity in 2015 after being accused of spying on EU institutions for Russia. His story concerned secret marriages, a number of identities and untraceable fortune. Amongst his colleagues, he was identified by the nickname “KGBéla”, which was speculated to be one thing of a present. By the point he was sentenced this September, Hungarian media famous that he had already moved to Moscow.

Bruno Gollnisch

Former Member of the European Parliament Bruno Gollnisch | Bertrand Guay/AFP by way of Getty Photographs

He ticks virtually all of the far-right bins: Discovered responsible of Holocaust denial; Parliamentary immunity stripped for inciting racial hatred. An EU court docket ordered a refund for paying an assistant for work he couldn’t show was associated to his function as an MEP. He will get area on this record for a pre-parliament stunt the place he dropped his pants and confirmed his naked backside at a county council assembly to protest state-subsidized bands that sing about intercourse. In all probability not a Cardi B fan.

József Szajer

In fact, Szájer ought to be on (and certainly lead) an inventory of the very best MEPs, if that record was primarily based purely on leisure worth. By no means thoughts the 74 Britons who left Parliament over Brexit; nobody left with a much bigger bang than the Hungarian who was a detailed confidant of Viktor Orbán and a co-founder of the Hungarian prime minister’s Fidesz celebration, which, for sure, isn’t any fan of the LGBTQ+ neighborhood.

Former Member of the European Parliament Jozsef Szajer | Patrick Seeger by way of EPA

Szájer spectacularly fell from grace in December 2020 after collaborating in a lockdown-busting party. Police discovered 25 bare males on the rally, in accordance with Belgian media experiences, and a passerby reported seeing a person fleeing alongside a gutter, main police to detain Szájer and discover narcotics in his backpack, prosecutors stated. Orbán referred to as the act “unacceptable and indefensible” and Szájer left the celebration and his put up in Brussels. For some motive there is no such thing as a statue of this man within the Place du Luxembourg.


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