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Politics

Avramopoulos Says No Role in EU NGO Tied to Corruption Probe

December 19, 2022

ATHENS – A former European Commissioner for New Democracy, Dimitris Avramopoulos, said he was only an honorary member of a European Union anti-corruption group whose leader is facing charges in a Qatar bribery scheme.

Avramopoulos said he had no active role in Fight Impunity that was run by a former Member of Parliament from Italy Pier Antonio Panzeri who was one of four people arrested – including Greek MEP Eva Kaili – in a corruption probe by Belgian police.

Avramopoulos said the European Commission approved his symbolic role, for which he said he was paid 5000 euros ($5312) monthly and that it was “without executive of managerial responsibilities,” said Greece’s state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency ANA-MPA.

“For my participation and the compensation that accompanied it I asked for the approval of the European Commission and it was given to me in writing, by President (Ursula) Von der Leyen,” the former commissioner for migration, home affairs and citizenship said.

“A corresponding assenting opinion for my participation in the organisation’s honorary committee was given by the Independent Ethical Committee of the European Union, on December 10, 2020,” he added.

He said he declared the income and paid 1,250 euros monthly ($1,328) in Greek taxes but asked not to be paid by the non-governmental organization after a year because its activities had declined significantly.

He said as soon as news of the scandal broke that “I immediately and irrevocably submitted my resignation and asked that my name be removed from the website, along with the other personalities participation in the committee.”

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