French-Belgian Investigation: “The Moroccan Makhzen Regime Behind The Biggest Corruption Scandal”
The Mechanism of Inquiry and Investigation, in collaboration with the Belgian newspaper Le Soir, has revealed to Radio France that Morocco is the main perpetrator of the biggest corruption and bribery scandal in the European institutions in order to legitimise its occupation of Western Sahara and to conclude illegal trade agreements involving the occupied parts of Western Sahara.
Entitled “Corruption in the European Parliament: between diplomacy and lobbying? The opaque role of the Euro-Moroccan friendship group”, the investigation concludes that the friendship groups are at the origin of the corruption scandal that has rocked the European Parliament.
This is what Radio France’s investigative unit, in collaboration with the Belgian newspaper Le Soir, found out about an organization whose role can be compared to lobbying. One of the first tangible effects was the abolition of the friendship groups in the European Parliament.
The investigation took place against the former Socialist MEP Gilles Barno, who chaired the European Union-Morocco Friendship Group from 2009 to 2019, during his two mandates, after his name had been widely reported in the press, in the context of this corruption scandal, as an agent of Morocco in the European Union, and he was not ashamed to present himself as a personal advisor to the Moroccan King, said the former Portuguese MEP Ana Gomes, who is active in the ranks of the Socialist Group.
Gilles Barneau, a French socialist, said: “I have never presented myself as an adviser to the Moroccan King, speaking publicly for the first time since relations began. I have never seen King Mohammed VI. I have never met him personally,” he said, adding: “I have not defended Morocco’s interests. I was the chairman of the EU-Morocco Friendship Group… which was not a hostile group”.
Representatives of the friendship group said that when we met him in a luxury hotel in Lille, the man did not hide his personal ties to Morocco: he is married to a French-Moroccan woman, and in February 2013 he received the equivalent of the Moroccan Legion of Honor “on the high instructions of King Mohammed VI”.
He declared at the time that “Morocco should have a greater presence in the European Parliament”. The leaked Moroccan diplomatic documents show that the Moroccan authorities appreciate his actions and positions. Gilles Barneau replied: “I am happy, and this means that in the eyes of the Moroccans we have done the work of a mediator, which they consider to be effective. Representatives of the European Union also confirmed this role.
In the same context, the Italian newspaper Lavretta revealed a major bombshell, according to which the MEP Antonio Panzieri had recruited around 250 MEPs in favour of Morocco in five years, using bribery and debt buying, prompting MEPs to call for the dissolution of the European legislature, considering that one third of its members are corrupt and that this undermines the credibility of this international body with legislative responsibility for 27 countries worldwide.
In parallel with the ongoing investigations into the “Morocco Gate” case, there have been calls for the need to investigate the “Israel Gate” case, which has exposed MEPs, lobbies and even networks bribing MEPs to support policies and projects in Palestine, as well as flight details, discos and hotels financed by Israel for the benefit of leading MEPs.