by Sarantis Michalopoulos
The Greek government and other state stakeholders have sabotaged a mission of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) to Athens to examine the state of the rule of law and wiretapping scandal. The sabotage started in Brussels with the European People’s Party (EPP). How is it possible for the EU Parliament chief, Roberta Metsola, to remain silent?
In what was described by press reports as an “organised sabotage”, the Greek prime minister, the chief prosecutor, the secret services and police heads, and even the politically neutral Greek president all refused to meet with LIBE EU lawmakers.
The announced reason was the busy schedule following the train crash tragedy, which cost the lives of at least 57 people. The real reason is that they all want to sweep the rule of law problem under the carpet. The victim, in this case, is the prestige of the European Parliament.
The sabotage started in Brussels with the EPP announcing that its members would pull out of the mission branded as “inappropriate” due to the train crash.
It is not the first time, and not surprising that the current EPP leadership is again offering a protective shield to the conservative government in Athens. It’s also not a coincidence that it’s the only political group that has said nothing about the wiretapping scandal. But in any event, the healthy part of the EPP is waiting in the corner.
But for Metsola, remaining silent over this blunt sabotage against the most democratic EU institution goes too far. We contacted her for a comment on this “sabotage” but got no reply.
Metsola may come from the EPP, but she represents all EU citizens. Allowing undermining this institution is dangerous, especially one year before the EU elections and in light of the damage caused by Qatargate.
It will be exciting to see the EU communication strategy to convince people to vote this time.
One good reason to vote may be for these politicians who are prepared to bear the political cost of shedding light on practices that Europe wants to keep in the dark. It may be the only one.
*first published in: Euractiv.com