The European Union urgently needs to investigate the persistent rumor churning around Panama City, alleging that several members of the European Parliament received illegal compensation, to influence the other MEPs to act to remove Panama from the EU Blacklist of jurisdictions that facilitate money laundering and terrorist financing. Factions within the European Parliament recently called for the tax havens to be included in the 2017 EU Blacklist, and again the stories are being told about bribes allegedly paid to MEPs last year.
These are serious charges to be sure, and though no factual basis has yet been shown to support them, prudence demands that they be fully investigated, to ascertain whether they are true. Did any Members of the European parliament show windfall income last year, or make major purchases ? On the Panama side, if it turns out that the allegations are supported by fact, which Panamanian government officials participated in the payoffs ?
Corruption may be rampant in the Republic of Panama, but it certainly is not prevalent in the countries of the European Union. We hope that a full, and complete, investigation will be initiated, to settle the matter, for once and for all.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock