Below is the statement of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) on the bribery scandal at the European Parliament and related trade union bodies (ITUC and ETUC). Apparently, part of the bribe scheme was to accept Qatari money to keep quiet on the conditions of the migrant workers building the facilities for the World Cup in Qatar. Estimates are that thousands died in work-related accidents.
The arrest of Luca Visentini, Secretary General of the ITUC, as well as the arrest of important officials of the European Union and more specifically of the European Parliament, following investigations that seem to have been ongoing for some time, demonstrate another disgusting side of the political system and the European Union bureaucracy: corruption and decay. This incident brings to light unholy deals and bribes, which in this particular case are linked with the cover-up of terrible crimes committed against thousands of workers, many of whom lost their very lives during their daily work, so that the propaganda fiesta of a corrupt regime be carried out; so that incredible profits of various business groups be ensured.
Although the investigations continue and without wanting to prejudge them, the arrest of the former Secretary General of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and recently elected Secretary General of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), also brings to the surface the issue of corruption within the Trade Union Movement itself.
The incorporation of the “official” trade union movement, i.e. the ETUC ( European Trade Union Confederation), and its substantial support of the neoliberal, anti-labor policies of the European Union, the absence of a substantial response on its part to the continuous undermining and attack on the labor and social rights of workers, clearly coexists with the corruption and use of trade union positions for purposes foreign to the class interests of the workers.
We recall for the record that the World Federation of Trade Unions and its affiliate, the Trade Union International of the UITBB, which represents construction workers, have in a timely way denounced and carried out campaigns to condemn the crimes and shocking exploitation of workers in the preparation process of the World Cup.
The WFTU will closely monitor the development of this dark case. It also demands that the investigations go as deep as possible and that all the shady background that has taken place behind the massive labor and social crime that has been carried out to make possible the holding of the football World Cup in the Emirate of Qatar be revealed.
December 11, 2022
The MEPs of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) intervened in the “suspicions of corruption from Qatar” debate in the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. In his speech, Kostas Papadakis, MEP of the KKE, stressed the following:
“The womb that gives birth to corruption centered on the European Parliament is the EU of capital itself. It is in this context that the bribery scandal involving Kaili and other former and current MEPs took place.
Your resolution to whitewash Qatar was adopted without even a roll-call vote. The EU, the People’s Party and the Social Democrats, standing over the thousands of dead bodies of workers of the sweatshops in Qatar, talked about ‘exemplary labour reforms’, with the head of the employer-led International Trade Union Confederation’ (ITUC), who is also being prosecuted, as an advocate.
The Qatari capitalists, who were ‘strategic partners’ for the EU’s ‘alternative energy sufficiency’ and were enjoying visa liberalization until yesterday, have now become ‘an authoritarian regime attacking European democracy’.
Those who pretend to have now discovered the lobbies, which play a leading role in this morass together with suspicious NGOs and the resolutions of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, are peddling illusions about transparency, ‘good’ lobbies, and ‘codes of conduct’.
The peoples need to draw conclusions. They must not place trust in the EU and the decayed capitalist system it serves; they cannot be fixed but only be overthrown by the peoples’ struggle.”
December 14, 2022