By Nicolas Ullens
On August 26, Phil Hogan presented his resignation as European Commissioner for Trade. He was criticized for not following Covid health rules at a dinner at his golf club!
It is amusing to note that Georges-Louis Bouchez, during his press conference as the new president of the Francs Borains soccer club, did not respect any rules in this respect. We were in the middle of a pandemic on April 24. It is only a short step to think that the witch hunt Hogan underwent was just a pretext.
This situation is surreal in view of the kitchen battery that some commissioners carry around with them, for which they are no longer held accountable. People have short memories.
With all due respect. The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, was Germany’s Minister of Defense before leading Europe. His management of this department has been a complete failure. But above all, a few hundred million euros have been paid to private consulting companies in spite of common sense. A report by the German parliament mentions a real emergency exfiltration of the former minister to Europe to hide the chaos she left behind(1).
What about the European Commissioner for Justice and Rule of Law, Didier Reynders. His name is mentioned in a number of investigations that are still open today, such as Kazakhgate or the frozen Libyan funds. The same goes for his right-hand man, Jean-Claude Fontinoy, who has become more discreet lately. The latter is suspected of having received secret commissions on behalf of his mentor via structures such as the non-profit organization « The most beautiful villages of Wallonia. Obviously, when we see that the investigation on the unfortunate Chovanec, dead after his arrest at Charleroi airport, has not yet been completed after more than two and a half years …
The Financial Times published on September 1st an article about the replacement of Hogan by Didier Reynders! Needless to say, if this scenario were to occur, we would need something other than « The Most Beautiful Villages of Wallonia » to whitewash the bribes that will inevitably fall. Indeed, the position of Trade Commissioner would be much more remunerative than that of Justice.
Table mats in sight
Want an example? In 2008, a scandal tainted the then EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson. The latter was suspected of having favored the interests of the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, the king of aluminum, thanks to his influence on the price of this metal.
The bad tongues speak of a stay of Mandelson on Deripaska’s yacht during which his most unmentionable inclinations would have been fulfilled and… filmed. We can see that Jeffrey Epstein has not invented anything. If Reynders manages to get out of his current position, in which he is controlled by his Czech colleague Vera Jourova, it is a safe bet that Jean-Claude Fontinoy will be back on duty…
With a new stimulus package for Europe, it is likely that billions more than Gaddafi’s will go astray.
The only good news for us, poor little Belgians, is that Didier will not only steal from his compatriots but from all of Europe.
- « Ce scandale qu’Ursula von der Leyen pensait laisser derrière elle à Berlin. » voir France Culture, 24-06-2020. https://www.franceculture.fr/emissions/revue-de-presse-internationale/la-revue-de-presse-internationale-emission-du-mercredi-24-juin-2020