PM slams Brussels for double standards and hypocrisy
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama dealt an elegant blow to European Parliament President Roberta Metsola when he described the EU as a champion of hypocrisy, noting that countries aspiring to join must meet much higher standards than the member states themselves.
Albania’s premier recently lashed out at the EP President over the corruption scandal that shook the bloc to its core. “Karma is a b**ch,” the prime minister said, referring to the scandal. Mr Rama sharply criticised the EU for shamelessly applying double standards against candidate countries, saying that the EU sets far stricter requirements for countries seeking entry into the bloc than for its member states, in which one corruption scandal is followed by another.
“More than half of the EU countries would not be able to enter the EU anymore. I am not talking about the former communists. I’m talking also about the founders, believe me,”
Albania’s prime minister said. The European Parliament has been at the centre of a sprawling probe, as some foreign governments, including Qatar and Morocco, are suspected of having effectively bought some MEPs with money and other benefits in exchange for lobbying in the interest of these countries in the EU. Although previously Roberta Metsola “forgot” to disclose any gifts she received as president, shortly after the scandal blew up, she was forced to release a lengthy list of gifts from international personalities.
As it turned out, the president had forgotten to make a declaration of 125 items, defending herself by saying that the recipient in most cases was the European Parliament, and not her, personally. Metsola’s gift list included items such as a model tower made of gold from leading Moroccan politician Naam Mayara, or a white dress with gold embroidery from Fawzia Zainal, the speaker of the Bahraini parliament.
Citing the corruption scandal as an argument, Edi Rama claimed at the World Economic Forum in Davos that now the path to accession is much bumpier and more complicated than in the case of previous accessions. For example, Metsola’s home country, Malta, also had a much shorter and easier path into the EU. This is immeasurably unfair and infuriating, Albania’s prime minister added.
According to Rama, the outbreak of the corruption scandal has created a ridiculous situation because, according to expectations, the current member candidates – including Albania – must learn from the European Union how to build democratic institutions… from the bloc, whose parliament is resounding with an unprecedented corruption scandal, and from Western countries that abound in corruption cases.