Qatargate: Union boss Luca Visentini disavowed amid damning reports

Tags : Qatargate, European Parliament, corruption, bribery, Luca Visentini, Antonio Panzeri, Eva Kaili, Francesco Giorgi,

Luca Visentini, charged with corruption, was dismissed this weekend from his post as general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation. He admitted having received nearly 50,000 euros in cash from the hands of Antonio Panzeri. The internal and external investigations in the trade union organizations he led are cruel for the Italian.

Luca Visentini at the head of the global trade union dome, end clap. The general council of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has “decided that Luca Visentini no longer has his confidence as general secretary”, she said in a statement on Saturday. An “extraordinary world congress” will be organized “as soon as possible in order to elect a new secretary general”, specifies the text. This “vote of confidence” about the Italian trade unionist, following his indictment for corruption at the beginning of December, turned into a severe disavowal: out of 70 voters, 57 voted against Luca Visentini, 12 for and one abstention.

The name of Luca Visentini (54) appeared on December 9 in this “Qatargate”. During the police operation that led to the arrest of Antonio Panzeri and others, Mr. Visentini was deprived of two nights of freedom, before being released on a double charge for corruption and money laundering, awarded by the judge of instruction Claise. Charges he disputes.

The investigators had proof – in particular thanks to microphones placed by State Security in the Schaerbeek apartment of Mr. Panzeri – of at least one handover of cash. In a hearing, Luca Visentini admitted having received less than 50,000 euros in cash from the prodigal hands of the founder of the non-profit association Fight Impunity, to finance his electoral campaign.

Former boss of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), Luca Visentini was indeed seeking the post of general secretary of the world organization, the ITUC. A dome that represents some 200 million workers worldwide. He will actually be elected to this position at a congress in Melbourne (Australia) on November 22, 2022. No time to savor this success: less than 20 days later, he was arrested by Belgian investigators.

System failures
His eviction this Saturday follows various reports from the ETUC and the ITUC, in particular an external audit of the European body, concluded on February 10, and that of the ITUC’s special commission of inquiry, delivered in early March. These two reports, which Le Soir obtained, are damning for Luca Visentini and point to systemic failures (in particular for the management of cash financing) on ​​the part of the two organizations.

The investigations found the trace of 43,000 euros, distributed as follows: 10,000 euros deposited on September 21, 2022 with the CES (100 banknotes of 100 euros), presented as funds provided by the Italian union of Mr. Visentini – which is will turn out to be a lie. On November 10, the former secretary general added 3,000 euros in denominations of 20. On the side of the CSI, Luca Visentini entrusted 23,000 euros in cash to the number 2 of the organization, Owen Tudor, and to a treasurer. There remained 7,000 euros given by the former MEP – according to the confessions of MM. Panzeri and Visentini themselves – who had not “yet” been charged to election expenses at the time of the legal operation.

The European Confederation notes in its report that the first payment of 10,000 euros took place before the cash transfer picked up by the microphones of State Security. Suggesting at least one more cash back. “It is simply unthinkable that a public figure, who moreover appears as an exposed figure in the European trade union movement, should receive substantial sums of money without a second thought”, are indignant the rapporteurs of the external investigation. for the ETUC. The same criticize the Italian’s desire to continue to receive a salary from the ETUC at the end of 2022 when he had just obtained the supreme position at the level of the CSI. Not to mention that Luca Visentini “regularly used his position of power to achieve particularly high-end and expensive overnight stays as well as visits to exceptionally luxurious restaurants”. The listeners underline how Luca Visentini has “considerably damaged” the image of the European trade union movement.

Made shortly before the eviction of this weekend, the report of the CSI is just as severe with Mr. Visentini. Without forgetting to castigate the organization itself, for having accepted with closed eyes so much cash coming, supposedly, from an NGO. On the other hand, the CSI report did not see any “pro-Qatar” or “pro-Morocco” effect following these cash deposits. The report also does not address the new accusations by the repentant Panzeri, recently revealed by Le Soir, Knack and La Repubblica, according to which 50,000 euros had been made available to the former Italian candidate for the post of general secretary of the CSI, Susanna Camusso. It was in 2018, still from Qatar, according to the “repentant” Panzeri. Ms. Camusso has sharply refuted any receipt of occult funds for her lost campaign against Sharan Burrow.


#Qatargate #European_Parliament #Corruption #Bribery #Luca_Visentini #Antonio_Panzeri #Eva_Kaili #Francesco_Giorgi