Resignation and inquiry follows Sunday Times MEP cash for amendments scoop

An inquiry has been announced and one MEP has already resigned after an undercover investigation by the Sunday Times revealed that three MEPs had accepted offers of up to 100,000 Euros a year to change legislation, AFP reports.

European Parliament spokesman Jaume Duch told AFP: “The Sunday Times’ allegations are severe and the European parliament is taking them seriously.”

The Sunday Times reported yesterday (paywall protected) how reporters posing as a fake lobbying agency actually persuaded MEPs to table amendments written by them, believing they would be well paid for this work.

The Sunday Times reported:

Adrian Severin, the 56-year-old former Romanian deputy prime minister, emailed the reporters saying: ‘Just to let you know that the amendment desired by you has been tabled in due time.then sent an invoice for €12,000 for ‘consulting services concerning the codification of the Directive 94/19/EC, Directive 2009/14/EC and the amendments thereto”.

Zoran Thaler, the former Slovenian foreign minister, put down an amendment as his first work for the fake company. He asked for the cash to be routed through a London company to keep it secret. ‘There is no way that I disclose this,’he said.

Ernst Strasser, a former interior minister in Austria, told the reporters, ‘I’m a lobbyist”, and boasted about serving at least five commercial clients who each paid him €100,000 a year.

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