Budapest Post

Cum Deo pro Patria et Libertate
Budapest, Europe and world news

Qatargate: Maria Arena quits as EU Parliament human rights chief

Qatargate: Maria Arena quits as EU Parliament human rights chief

Senior Socialist MEP insists she’s an innocent victim of political and media attacks as corruption claims engulf Brussels.
Senior MEP Maria Arena quit her role as chair of the European Parliament’s subcommittee on human rights, blaming attacks by journalists and political rivals amid the continued Qatargate corruption scandal.

Her resignation came hours after POLITICO published an in-depth investigation into the committee, which revealed Arena had failed properly to declare free flights and accommodation she received from Qatar. The president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, has been informed of Arena’s decision, an EU official said.

In a statement sent to Belgian news agency Belga and seen by POLITICO, Arena said she was stepping down in order to protect her image and the work done by the European Parliament’s human rights committee, known in EU shorthand as DROI.

Earlier on Wednesday POLITICO reported that Arena was blaming her secretary for the failure to declare a paid-for trip to Qatar in May 2022. The committee is now at the center of allegations of corruption and money laundering. Three out of four suspects held on preliminary charges have links to the panel of MEPs. Arena is not one of the suspects and again insisted on Wednesday that she is in no way involved in the scandal engulfing Brussels.

“I proclaim loud and clear that I am not implicated in any way in this affair,” Arena wrote in the statement.

“But in light of the political and media attacks from the past few weeks that damage not only my image, but also all of the work done in the heart of the DROI subcommittee, I have decided to resign from the post of president,” she wrote. She added that neither her office nor her home have been raided by police, and that the Belgian authorities have not asked for her parliamentary immunity to be lifted, a necessary step prior to a criminal investigation.

The committee Arena has led since 2019 has ties to several of the people facing preliminary charges in the Belgian criminal investigation, including Pier Antonio Panzeri, the Italian former MEP who led the committee before her. Belgian police have raided several offices of current parliamentary staffers connected to the committee as part of their investigation.

When the corruption allegations first emerged last month, Arena said she would step down from chairing DROI temporarily — and it was not clear what that would mean in practical terms. Senior MEPs on the committee are due to meet on Thursday to discuss the next steps.
Newsletter

Related Articles

Budapest Post
Close
0:00
0:00
China is opening up for foreign investors.
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Germany confirms it will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
Hungary ready to sue EU over cuts to Erasmus funding
EU against democracy: Hungary's mail-in poll on Russia sanctions dismissed by Brussels
2023 - The Year of the Rabbit
Israelis rally in three cities against Netanyahu legal reforms
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
Japan prosecutors indict man for ex-PM Shinzo Abe murder
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Dirty bomb fears as URANIUM is found in cargo at Heathrow
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
International medical experts speak out against COVID-19 restrictions on China
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Saudi Arabia’s female ambassadors: Who are the five women representing the Kingdom?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
Clashes erupt in central Paris after shooting at a Kurdish cultural center
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addresses Joint Session of Congress - FULL SPEECH
Where is Rishi? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's excuses about the UK's economic challenges just don't make sense
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
Corruption works: House Financial Services Chair Waters doesn't plan to subpoena her donor, Sam Bankman-Fried, to testify at hearing on FTX collapse
Ronaldo's new contract...
The EU has outsourced a big chunk of its migration policy to the private sector
Prince William's godmother resigns honorary royal role after exposing her/their racism
British PM Rishi Sunak pledges further action on strikes to 'protect lives'
Tax fraud verdict again exposes illusion of Trump the master businessman
×