European Union: Qatargate is just the tip of the iceberg

By Rubén Tzanoff

Corruption splashes the European Parliament. The authorities are scandalized, promising to investigate and implement punishment. It is impossible to believe that they will bring it forward to the last consequences. Corruption goes beyond Qatar’s bribes, it is structural and inherent to capitalism. Only an Independent Commission of Inquiry could uncover this entire mafia scheme. The “pro-Europeans” and the “Eurosceptics” are protagonists of a new chapter of dispute on the basis of not questioning the pillars of capitalism. Strong radical left organizations are needed to push for structural changes.

A Belgian examining magistrate has indicted four people for corruption. The accusations target MEPs and other members of the European Parliament: membership of a criminal organization, money laundering and receiving bribes to launder the image of “a Gulf country” which is not specified, although the case is already called Qatargate. It would be the second scandal of major international proportions involving Qatar since the first one took place with the purchase of votes for the emirate to be chosen as host of the FIFA 2022 World Cup.

A scandal of great proportions

The four arrested are: Eva Kaili (Greek Pasok), vice-president of the European Parliament, already suspended from her functions. Belgian Social Democrat MEP Marc Tarabella. The former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, and the new president of the International Trade Union Confederation, accused of having received “substantial sums of money” or “important gifts” to “influence the economic and political decisions of the European Parliament”.

Some prisoners and the hidden plot

In the face of this serious institutional crisis, Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, announced measures of “transparency” and an “internal investigation”. For her part, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, demanded “more ethics” from all EU bodies. However, it is very difficult to believe them, since on other occasions the European Parliament has been questioned for having “lax financial controls” and for the actions of some of its members, and this did not have major consequences. Besides, who can believe that such corruption can be carried out only with the participation of four people? In order to shed transparency on the corruption scheme, it is necessary to pull the end of the ball all the way to the end.

Cynicism oozes from their pores

On several occasions we have denounced the crimes against workers and Qatar’s bribes to FIFA on its way to the World Cup. Therefore, it is not surprising that this country has also acted against the EU. It is no coincidence that the Qatari embassy in Brussels has broken its silence by expressing in a statement that it “categorically rejects any attempt to associate the country with inappropriate behavior.” “The State of Qatar works through relations between institutions and operates in full compliance with international laws and regulations.” At the same time it should be recalled that in recent months, Qatar has become a strategic partner of the European imperialist bloc, as it is selling liquefied natural gas to counter the effects of the closure of the Russian gas tap.

For an Independent Inquiry Commission

Only an Independent Commission of Inquiry could take the investigations to their ultimate consequences to punish those responsible and the network that allows corruption. However, it would be a partial step, since the European Parliament is based on the rules of the EU as a structurally corrupt imperialist institutionality.

Corruption is structural

What is happening with the Qatargate of the European Parliament is in itself extremely serious. But it goes far beyond this case. The institutionality of European imperialism is defined by white-collar thieves. Unscrupulous individuals who promote the plundering of the poorest countries to guarantee the profits of multinational companies and banks. Corruption has many manifestations, such as granting loans to fatten debts on condition of implementing austerity plans, liquidating the conquests of workers, pensioners and demanding budget cuts in health and education.

Neither “Europeanists” nor “Eurosceptics”

The institutionalism of the Club defended by the “pro-European” leaders is a compendium of economic, political and humanitarian failures that has been dragged from crisis to crisis. On the other hand, the models wielded by the “Eurosceptics” of the right and the ultra-right embody reactionary and disastrous variants. Both sides fight with nuances and differences, but in the end they agree on a key objective: to sustain capitalist exploitation and the oppression of the institutional regimes over the workers and the peoples.

There is a third option Capitalism cannot be fixed, it goes from crisis to crisis, from war to war and is corrupt in its very core: Panama Papers, Pandora Papers, Qatargate I and II, the list can go on ad infinitum. While the powerful enrich themselves with bribes, the English, French and EU workers are forced to go on strike to defend their wages from the inflation provoked by the crisis of the capitalist economy and the consequences of the war provoked by Russian imperialism invading Ukraine. The EU is a fundamental part of the imperialist capitalist disaster. That is why it is necessary to break with the Bloc by the road of mobilization and organization independent of the bourgeoisie, with the leadership of the workers and the people. With the strategy of a free Federation of European Socialist Republics, in which the workers govern with their own democratic organizations. To promote this fundamental solution it is necessary to build strong organizations of the revolutionary and socialist left throughout Europe.