The watchword now seems to be: minimize. “There is no evidence,” says the EEAS spokesman to explain why the High Representative for Foreign Policy Joseph Borrell (that is, the EU foreign minister) will quietly visit Morocco today and tomorrow. That is, in one of the countries that for years have bankrolled the hidden lobbying activity of Fight Impunity, the NGO of former Pd MEP Antonio Panzeri, in prison since 8 December. While half the world’s newspapers tell of the bags of money found at the home of Panzeri and of the other arrested, of contacts with the secret services of Morocco and of how Panzeri tamed and tele-managed the meeting of 13 November between a commission of the European Parliament and the Moroccan labor minister, EEAS spokesman Peter Stano recalls that “at this point there are allegations and not evidence or conclusions of investigations. No one has yet legally stated that Morocco is a guilty country and should be avoided in international meetings.” Not a line, as can be seen, regarding the fact that the High Representative Borrell, a member of the Spanish PSOE, comes from the same parliamentary group, the Socialists & Democrats, of which Panzeri was a member until 2019 and which includes the Greek Eva Kaili , already in prison, as well as the two new indictments by the Brussels Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Italian Andrea Cozzolino and the Belgian Marc Tarabella, all very active pro-Morocco and pro-Qatar.
The caution of spokesman Stano explains well the embarrassment into which Qatargate has plunged the Community Parliament. The spread of the scandal like wildfire only makes the inefficiency of the internal control systems more evident: starting from the freedom of movement that was guaranteed to Panzeri in the corridors and in the initiatives of the Parliament despite the fact that he no longer held any office and your NGO is not listed in the Transparency Register. Suffice it to say that on 20 July 2020 the S&D group relied on Panzeri, who is the main speaker, to present the book dedicated to the Italian researcher Giulio Regeni, assassinated in Egypt. The meeting was chaired by the Belgian Marie Arena, whose name now insistently recurs in the news on Qatargate: her personal assistant was searched by the investigators, having worked for a long time with Panzeri’s NGO; during the match on 13 November with the Moroccans, Arena makes a speech for which Panzeri thanks her immediately afterwards. According to an article in the Flemish newspaper De Standaard, documents leaked in the Moroccan version of the Wikileaks case show that already in 2014, when he was still a deputy, Panzeri was considered by Rabat “an ally to fight the growing activism of our enemies in Europe”. According to De Standaard, Panzeri’s clique received 50,000 euros for each blocked anti-Morocco amendment. And the blocked amendments were 147.
So the numbers are starting to rise. And they make the impressive figure that Greek justice is pursuing less improbable: the twenty million euros attributable to Eva Kaili, the socialist vice-president of the European Parliament. The request for assistance in Panama, where the loot would be parked, is still awaiting a response. In the background, an unresolved question: how many unpresentable regimes have obtained Europe’s benevolence for a fee?
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The price list of Panzeri and his companions
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