Ruling New Democracy on Friday suspended the party membership of MEP Maria Spyraki amid an ongoing fraud investigation. Spyraki will not be able to run in next year’s nationwide elections until her status has been restored, a statement stressed.
Reacting to the news Friday morning, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis described the case as “very serious.”
It was interesting, though, that the first reaction by Spyraki and ND officials was to downplay the issue as an “administrative difference.”
However, if it was just a simple matter, the EU’s prosecutor would not intervene.
Thursday noon, the European Union’s Public Prosecutor requested the lifting of immunity of Spyraki and Eva Kaili, a socialist MEP currently detained under suspicion of corruption and money laundering in the context of Qatar-Gate, over suspicion of committing fraud.
“Based on an investigative report received from the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), there is a suspicion of fraud detrimental to the EU budget, in relation to the management of the parliamentary allowance, and in particular concerning the remuneration of Accredited Parliamentary Assistants,” Kovesi said in a statement.
The case has to do with a former Greek assistant of Maria Spyraki. He was receiving allowance for being in Brussels, while he was in Greece for health issues and whatever problems.
The problem that MEPs sign for the remuneration of their assistants.
According to media, MEP Spyraki is determined to return to the EP the amount her assistant was receiving.
Yet, Spyrakis’ political problem won’t end with the payment. New Democracy
According to sources from the PM’s office, “the major issue for the government is that Spyraki had made a big mistake: Despite the fact that the OLAF reports that conducted the investigations had long been communicated to her, she did not inform anyone not even in her party,” reports newsit.gr.