It is well known that Qatar plays a major role in the European Parliament bribery scandal. However, according to one report, Morocco was more involved.
According to a media report, Morocco has a bigger role than previously known in a bribery and corruption scandal involving Qatar in the EU Parliament. As “Spiegel” secret intelligence documents indicate, Morocco’s foreign secret service DGED is involved at the highest level in influencing MEPs.
According to this, the DGED reportedly hired two Italian MEPs, Pier Antonio Panzeri and Andrea Cozzolino, and Francesco Giorgi, a parliamentary staffer and partner of the ousted Vice-President of the EU Parliament, Eva Kaili, as early as 2019. Its aim was to influence the Social Democratic group in the European Parliament.
The current ambassador to Poland headed the trio
According to “Spiegel”, Abdelrahim Atmoun, who is currently Morocco’s ambassador to Poland, assumed the responsibility of leading the trio. Also, the three Italians were said to be in direct contact with the Director General of the Secret Service, Mohammad Yassin Mansoori. Citing Belgian government sources, Morocco has recently shown its commitment to issues such as fishing rights and Western Sahara, which is largely controlled by Rabat. Overall, there is doubt that Morocco exerted more intense and long-lasting influence, both legally and illegally, than Qatar.
Panzeri, Kaili and Gorgi are currently in custody. They have been accused of “criminal organization, corruption and money laundering”. The Gulf emirate of Qatar has reportedly tried to influence EU policies. Qatar denies any wrongdoing.
MEPs failed to mention Morocco in the resolution
On December 15, MEPs passed a resolution with a clear majority in which they strongly condemned Qatar for influencing the country. Morocco is not mentioned, although the role of the state should be known. The left wing sought to add amendments to the resolution from Morocco. Attempts failed.
The conservative European People’s Party, including all German Christian Democrats present, voted against the amendment. The Greens voted unanimously in favor, with a majority of Liberals and Social Democrats voting against.
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