Home News Who is Eva Kaili, vice-president of the European Parliament suspected of corruption?

Who is Eva Kaili, vice-president of the European Parliament suspected of corruption?

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The vice-president of the European Parliament, the Greek Eva Kaili, at the heart of a resounding corruption scandal which led her to detention, is a former television presenter, who has become a controversial figure in the Greek socialist party.

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On Saturday December 10, the 44-year-old socialist elected saw her delegations of vice-president of the European assembly suspended, less than 11 months after her election to this post, due to the investigation launched by the Belgian prosecutor’s office.

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The neatly dressed Greek MEP, with long blond hair and a piercing gaze, was placed in detention this Sunday in Brussels after an investigation by the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office for acts of ” corruption “ and of “money laundering” in an organized gang. Of the “bags of tickets” were found at the home of this forty-year-old woman perceived in her native country as a rising star of the socialist party Pasok-Kinal.

Elected at 29

Originally from Thessaloniki, the second city of Greece, Eva Kaili entered politics at the age of 20: an architecture student, she became a municipal councilor there in 1998. With her architecture degree in hand, she embarked on studies of international and European relations and took journalism courses. The Greeks then discovered her on their television screen: she presented the newspapers on one of the major private channels, Mega, from 2004 to 2007.

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That year, at just 29, she was elected to the Greek Parliament. She is then the youngest member of Pasok. In 2014, she was elected to the European Parliament in the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group, a mandate that she retained during the 2019 European elections. In January 2022, she was elected Vice-President of the European Parliament in the first round. .

Eva Kaili was part of the delegation aimed at developing the relations of the European Union with the Arab peninsula.

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Visit to Qatar

In this context, she had gone to Qatar shortly before the start of the World Cup. “Today, the FIFA World Cup in Qatar is concrete proof of how sports diplomacy can achieve a historic transformation of a country whose reforms have inspired the Arab world”she said at the podium of the European Parliament on November 22.

In her native country, Eva Kaili has repeatedly distanced herself from Pasok. When the agreement between Athens and Skopje put an end to a long dispute over the name of the small Balkan country, now called “North Macedonia”she tweeted: ” I am ashamed. This is irreparable damage to History, Macedonia and the Greeks”.

It then positioned itself on the same line as the Greek conservative party which opposed this agreement, and considered that the name of Macedonia linked to the history of Alexander the Great and to a region in the north of Greece could not be given to another country.

In 2019, she also said that “benefits are for lazy people”criticizing the social aid distributed by the radical left (Syriza) to deal with the economic crisis which had brought the country to its knees and pushed many Greeks into poverty.

Excluded from Parliament

The president of the Greek Socialist Party, Nikos Androulakis assured Saturday that Eva Kaili “acted like a Trojan horse of the New Democracy”the right in power. “I had informed her that she would no longer be a candidate with our party in the next European elections”, he insisted. The president of the party, himself a member of the European Parliament, also criticized him for having tried to minimize the affair of the tapping which splashes the current conservative government.

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Faced with this scandal and the suspicions hanging over the MEP, the Greek Socialist Party (Pasok-Kinal) dismissed her and several elected officials demanded that she give up her seat in the European Parliament.

In this case, his companion, the Italian Francesco Giorgi, former parliamentary assistant, specialist in human rights and foreign affairs, seven years his junior, was also arrested. They have been together for five years and have a two-year-old daughter.

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