Three European Parliamentarians, including Romanian Adrian Severin were willing to “sell their services" for huge sums of money for some undercover journalists from British daily Sunday Times pretending to be involved in some lobby actions, AFP informs.
Reporters thus proposed to several members of the European Parliament to pay 100,000 euro/year and in exchange the MEPs would push some amendments for approval. Three of those chosen accepted: Romanian Adrian Severin, Zoran Thaler former Slovenian Foreign Affairs minister and a former Austrian Interior minister, Ernst Strasser.
Adrian Severin, member of the Socialists and Democrats Group sent a message to the fake lobbyists to inform them that “the amendment that you wish was submitted on time", the message reads. Shortly after, he sent a bill of 12,000 euro for “counseling services", AFP notes. After revealing the identity of the three so called lobbyists, Adrian Severing assured that he did not do anything illegal and the other two MEPs claimed that they knew all along that it was an undercover investigation and wanted to see how far it will go.
Zoran Thaler, former Slovenian Foreign Affairs minister presented also an amendment for the undercover journalists and requested that his money would be deposited in the accounts of a company in London.
The third MEP, former Austrian Interior Minister, Ernst Strasser declared to journalists that he is a lobbyist before he presented an amendment to his two colleagues part of a committee in charge with the legislation on the subject. He told journalists that a compromise was achieved in favor of the lobbyists and demanded a 25,000 euro installment in the accounts of a company he owns in Austria.
Strasser declared, quoted by the Austrian news agency APA that he withdraws from politics following the political campaign against him that would prejudice the Austrian Popular Party, which he is a member of. His resignation comes after several hours after the leader of the Austrian Party, Josef Proll requested publicly his resignation and withdrawal from any political function. Proll qualified Strasser’s gesture as “unacceptable", Wiener Zietung reads in its online edition.