The swamp of Brussels and kickbacks goes back a long way and could represent possibly millions of euros of dirty money given to MEPs by Qatar. But now the same investigation has implicated Morocco
The recent scandal which has erupted from the Belgian capital implicating a European Parliament vice president and a number of other MEPs is being linked to Morocco, according to the Belgian press.
A number of police raid in Brussels initially uncovered 600,000 euro in case in the homes of MEPs and resulted in the immediate dismissal of the Parliament’s Greek Vice president, with unconfirmed reports of the graft being linked to Qatar.
However, since December 10th, when the raids and arrests were carried out, more shocking revelations are being linked to the Belgian press which asserts that the cash recovered now has reached 1.5 million euros and that the money paid to MEPs also is linked to Morocco.
Part of these sums were discovered at the home of the former Italian deputy Pier Antonio Panzeri.
According to court documents obtained by the Belgian newspaper Le Morgen and several international media, Pier Antonio Panzeri would have ” intervened politically with MEPs in favour of Qatar and Morocco, against payment “.
According to the Dutch language daily on December 14th, the documents reveal that the Moroccan ambassador to Poland is believed to have given gifts to a number of MEPs. It is unclear what the purpose was of the alleged bribe, but Morocco’s position on Western Sahara is not viewed favourably by the European Parliament, so many may well speculate that this is subject which could have benefitted from greasing the palms of a number of MEPs on influential committees.
Panzeri, it should be noted, despite losing his MEP seat in 2019, is still an influential player in Brussels. Leading up to his departure from the European Parliament he was the chair of the Maghreb delegation and also on the prestigious foreign affairs committee which makes important decisions regarding Morocco.
The parliamentarian’s wife and daughter were ” in the know “, and would have even participated in the delivery of gifts offered by the Moroccan ambassador to Poland, Abderrahim Atmoun, the documents reveal.
The couple also used the credit card of a person, called the ” giant “, which the author of the report assumes is the Moroccan diplomat, ” even if it is not mentioned as such “, specifies Le Morgen.
The links between Panzeri and Atmoun are proven. According to the same source, they describe themselves as ” good friends ” on social media posts and regularly saw one another, given that the Italian was chair of the European Parliament Maghreb delegation and it was his role to interact with the Moroccan parliament in Rabat.
The MEP visited the diplomat in Morocco in 2013 in the company of Marc Tarabella, a Belgian MP implicated in the scandal and suspended by his party. Later, he visits her with the companion of Eva Kaili, also expelled by her party in Greece after her arrest in Brussels.