February 6, 2023

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New revelations about D. Avramopoulos’ relationship with the “sinful” Pantseri organization

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Did the former commissioner receive €60,000 in fees for two conferences and an article? Mr. Although Avramopoulos was given the green light to participate as an honorary member of the board, the publication stresses that the NGO is not registered in the EU’s transparency register. of the system

A new publication by La Stampa on former Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos’ relationship with Antonio Panzerim’s “sinful” NGO, which acted as a vehicle for the former MEP to “launder” dirty money from Qatar, according to Belgian authorities.

Marco Brezolin, correspondent of the Italian newspaper in Brussels, writes that, among other things, the public contribution of the ex-commissioner to the NGO is participation in two conferences (one online) and an online article. These are the only traces of a plan to “actively promote the activities of the Fight Impunity Union”, for which Mr. Avramopoulos received 60,000 euros.

The former European commissioner confirmed the news to La Stampa yesterday and admitted that he had received 5,000 euros a month for a year from the NGO. But he says he suffered from “a conspiracy by some circles in Italy to distort the image of a completely legitimate and official participation in the fight against impunity” in order to weaken his candidacy for the post of EU Special Representative in the Persian Gulf. And strengthen support for Luigi Di Maio”. But everyone knows I’m the favourite,” he argued.

The EPP member pointed out that he had received “written permission from Ursula von der Leyen”, a detail that caused great embarrassment to the highest levels of the Commission, even though the NGO was not registered in the EU’s transparency register. It announced an internal investigation into the alleged misconduct of the Greek politician. Focus has been on his meetings with members of the current commission.

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In today’s release, with the ex-commissioner’s cooperation ending – according to his words – in February 2022, in April, two months later, a full panel was held at the Delphi forum exclusively on this particular NGO. He said he asked for his pay to be stopped in February because “the performance of the organization has declined drastically.”

Brezolin notes that D. Avramopoulos’s last official meeting with Doha officials was in Brussels with the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed bin Hassan Al Hammad, three days before he assumed office as Commissioner for Migration – a portfolio unrelated to Qatar. “Cooperative relations and common interests between Qatar and the European Union” were discussed.

Thus, Mr. Avramopoulos may not have been directly involved, but some elements of his collaboration with Fight Impunity are controversial. at least

More specifically, the President of the European Commission had allowed him to be paid on the basis that he would “publish articles, attend conferences, organize events and conduct awareness campaigns, such as giving interviews”. However, as we mentioned, Avramopoulos only participated in two public fighting impunity events.

Dates from July 12, 2021: He spoke for a few minutes while introducing a webinar organized by the Delphi Economic Forum, in which Avramopoulos had written an article on the fight against impunity, published on the NewEurope web portal. .

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The second date is 13 April 2022: a conference in Greece, again organized by the Delphi Economic Forum, in which the former Commissioner sits on the platform with Panzeri. Indeed, “my best friend Panzeri”, as the Greek centre-right politician introduced him, described the member of Articolo UNO as “a leading figure in Italian politics”.
Yesterday, the issue was at the center of the European Commission’s daily press conference. “We are checking whether he complied with the control conditions, ie no contact with the commission, during this term”.

However, from Avramopoulos’s Twitter profile, it appears that on October 3rd he had a meeting with Viera Jourova, the Vice-President of the Commission responsible for Transparency and Values. In July, he vacationed in Greece with Johannes Hahn, the EU’s budget commissioner.