Friday, January 20, 2023
Brussels – (dpa):
European Parliament President Roberta Metsola (originally Maltese) has to answer questions about staying with her partner in a luxury French hotel.
And the news portal Politico revealed today, Friday, that the costs of the overnight stay were borne by a French wine association last October.
A Mitsola spokesman confirmed this information to the German Press Agency (dpa).
Mitsola announced her visit last week after parliament was rocked by another corruption scandal.
But she did not mention that her partner accompanied her on the trip.
According to parliamentary rules, Mitsola should have reported the trip at the end of November last year.
According to Politico, Metsola, a Christian Democrat, traveled from Malta to France according to an appointment with the aforementioned wine association, and was provided accommodation in a five-star hotel, and part of the trip consisted of a five-course dinner.
It is not yet clear if Metsola is threatened with consequences.
Theoretically, it could be sanctioned, however there is no specific mechanism, since the President of the European Parliament is responsible for imposing sanctions on its members.
Mitsola also announced that it received 125 gifts last week alone, which is also illegal.
This was announced a few days ago.
According to the list, the Maltese politician gave most of the gifts for safekeeping to the parliamentary administration or kept them in her office.
These recent gifts were, for example, pictures, vases, and books.
The spokesperson for the President of the European Parliament stressed that “the President of the Parliament accepts gifts on behalf of the institution and does not keep them.”
In addition to Metsola, only a few members of Parliament disclosed that they had received gifts and declared them on the relevant gift registry list, including several German members.
Among them is a member of the German Green Party, Hannah Neumann, as well as Nicola Beer of the Free Democratic Party and David McAlister and Daniel Caspary of the Christian Democratic Union.
Metsola’s predecessor, David Sassoli, made no public trips or gifts during his term in the European Parliament.
Metsola’s announcement of the gifts followed a corruption scandal in the European Union Parliament.
The judiciary had charged the then deputy speaker of parliament, Eva Kylie, with participating in a criminal organization, money laundering and other corruption cases.
It is related to the alleged influence of Qatar and Morocco and influence on the political decisions of the European Parliament.