Eva Kaili, the Greek social democrat who always went for free

the social democrat eva kaili It is at the epicenter of the storm that has unleashed on the European Parliament due to the corruption case linked to Qatar for alleged bribes from this country to MEPs to support the celebration of the World Cup. Accused and arrested for alleged crimes of corruption, money laundering and participation in criminal organizationthis Greek politician, who until last Saturday was the vice president of the European Parliament, monopolizes all the focus of attention and confirms with this case one of the features that best define her career, always marked by controversy.

Despite his affiliation, Kaili maintained during the last months a tense relationship with the Party of European Socialists (PSE) and PASOK, the formation of the Greek socialists. What’s more, many media portray her as “a right-wing social democrat.” In fact, in Greece she already had a reputation for being a controversial, controversial and controversial politician.

Originally from Thessaloniki, the second city of Greece, Kaili was a member of PASOK from a very young age: in 1998, At the age of 20, she became a municipal councilor in her hometown. representing the Greek social democratic formation.

For a time was seen as a rising star of the PASOKbut at a given moment decided to put her political career on hold to become a television presenterwhich made it known among the general public.

Kaili’s career as a professional politician began in 2007 when at the age of 29 she was elected as a PASOK deputy in the Greek Parliament. In 2014 he made the leap to Europe and ran for the European elections. She was elected MEP for PASOK. After eight years in Brussels, at the beginning of 2022 she was elected Vice President of the European Parliament.

Already by then he had shown signs of his somewhat indomitable character. She has always liked to be a free verse. She has shown it on several occasions both in Brussels and within PASOK.

During the last months, Kaili’s relationship with the PSE began to deteriorate.especially after last September he broke the line of abstention that the European social democrats had adopted regarding the vote with which the next secretary of the Eurochamber would be chosen. Kaili refused to follow the guidelines of her group and even voted in favor of Alessandro Chioccetti, MEP of the European People’s Party (EPP), which provoked harsh criticism against him.

His relationship with his colleagues in the PSE and his leadership worsened even more when at the end of November, during a speech in a plenary session of the European Parliament, Kaili unabashedly supported Qatar by pointing out that this country is “innovative” in terms of labor rights. He even went so far as to say that Qatar had become the object of bullying by the West.

Kaili has also had a hard time with his PASOK teammates in Greece. Over the past few years he has repeatedly expressed positions that are closer to that of the New Democracy conservatives, now in the Greek government.

One of his biggest confrontations with the PASOK leaders took place in 2018. During the protests prior to the signing of the Prespas Agreement in 2018, which resolved a decades-long dispute between Greece and North Macedonia Regarding the official name of the latter country, Kaili distanced himself from PASOK and supported the conservatives –then in opposition– and Greek nationalism that opposed the agreement, considering it “treason” to allow the Slavic country to use the term “Macedonia”, since that is also the name of a region of Greece.

Although it was known that belonged to the right wing of PASOKopenly opposed to the party’s president, Nikos Andrulakis, Kailí’s relationship with the Greek Social Democratic leader finally broke after backing the conservative Greek government in a spy scandal by the Greek secret service of which he was a victim, among others, Andrulakis.

“It’s common and it’s happened to other people too,” Kailí said shortly after the attempt to spy on Andrulakis came to light. Kailí even decided not to attend the hearing in Brussels of the European Parliament commission investigating this espionage case despite being a member of it and despite the fact that several Greek journalists declared that they had also been spied on.

This position distanced her definitively from PASOK. So much so that Andrulakis stressed that Kaili functioned as a “trojan horse of conservatives” in its formation and that it had already communicated to the MEP in September that it would not include her in the lists of the formation for the European elections of 2024.

While going free, Kaili was dedicated to amassing money: in just two years it more than doubled its bank deposits, according to its own annual declarations of assets that are available on the website of the Hellenic Parliament. What nobody could suspect is that in his house in Brussels the investigators were going to find bags of money worth 150,000 euros.

His partner, the Italian Franceso Giorgi, has also been charged and held under arrest. Kaili’s father was also arrested last Friday while trying to escape with 600,000 euros in a bag. This Monday he was released on probation.

Now his statements about Qatar are understood, who also puzzled his fellow ranks. He was even in Doha before the start of the World Cup. “The World Cup in Qatar is concrete proof of how sports diplomacy can bring about a historic transformation in a country whose reforms have inspired the Arab world,” he declared at the European Parliament on November 22.

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