A majority of members of the European Parliament voted Tuesday to remove Eva Kylie as vice president of the organization. The motion to end his term early was supported by 625 MEPs, with one voting against and two abstentions.
As one of the body’s 14 vice-presidents, he needs a two-thirds majority to step down.
Who is Eva Kylie?
A 44-year-old Greek social democrat was arrested in Belgium on Friday after he was part of a group seeking bribes from Qatar to promote policies friendly to the Gulf state.
Kylie has already been suspended from her job and is in police custody. Belgian authorities said more information about the specific criminal charges against him would be announced on Wednesday.
The Greek politician and three of his co-conspirators are accused of receiving lavish gifts and large sums of money from Qatari agents.
What is Kylie’s position?
Both Qatar and the lawmaker have denied any wrongdoing. Kylie’s lawyer, Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, said Tuesday that her position was that she had “nothing to do with the Qatari bribery.”
Speaking on Greek television, Dimitrakopoulos said he would neither confirm nor deny that large sums of money were found in his home. Belgian Solicitors Hundreds of thousands of euros were said to have been found in several suspects’ homes and in a hotel room.
Several European lawmakers have called on Kylie to step down. “Given the level of corruption, this is the least we can expect from her,” MEP Manon Aubry, co-chair of the left group, told Reuters news agency.
Manfred Weber of the conservative European People’s Party said: “Our colleagues in the European Parliament are deeply shocked. These developments reflect a heavy burden.”
What is the effect on Parliament?
The scandal has seriously damaged the reputation of the European Parliament. The body is the only body in the European Union that includes directly elected officials from the 27 member states.
It shook the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group in the assembly, the second-largest group in the 705-member body, which unites the entire center-left parties.
Several EU countries, including Germany, said the credibility of the 27-nation union was at risk.
Asked if the European Parliament could fix the situation, Eric Marquardt, an MEP from the Green Party, told DW that “this damage cannot be repaired”.
“It’s very easy to lose trust and it’s very difficult to get it back. I think we can’t ask for people’s trust now, we have to do our homework,” he said, adding that it’s time to check what rules should be in place. It will be strengthened and better implemented to prevent such scams in future.
es/dj (dpa, AFP, Reuters, AP)
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