Romanian MEP Adrian Severin caught-up in corruption scandal, withdraws from Socialist group

Member of the European Parliament Adrian Severin, a former deputy prime minister in Romania, has suspended himself from the Social Democratic Party (PSD) in his home country following a European Parliament corruption scandal. He has also withdrawn from the Socialist party group in the European Parliament, but hasn’t stepped down from his MEP seat.

Severin, together with other two members from the Socialist Group of the European Parliament (EP) Ernst Strasser and Zoran Thaler, have allegedly agreed to propose legislation in exchange for money. The three have allegedly agreed to sell their services to undercover journalists from Sunday Times, who pretended to be lobbyists, in exchange of EUR 100.000.

“The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) is updated with the information published in the Sunday Times. We evaluate the information to see if an investigation in this case is in our area of expertise”, according to OLAF.

PSD refused to support Severin during the investigation undertaken by OLAF, according to sources from the party’s board, quoted by Mediafax newswire. The same sources said that Severin could be excluded from the Socialist Group of European Parliament before the Anti-Fraud Office will take a decision regarding the corruption accusations.

The Romanian EP member mentioned he had five meetings with undercover journalists from the British tabloid. He refused previous endeavors of the journalists to introduce an amendment referring to waste storage. They explained that they were in a rush and they wanted the amendment to initiate a debate and not necessarily to adopt a certain legislation.

“I committed nothing illegal and these allegations are false”, said Severin, who will not give up his seat in the European Parliament for the time being. Severin will not loose his mandate as EP member, irrespective of EP and PSD decisions.

Ernst Strasser had to resign from all the mandates at the request of the Popular Party he is a member of. Slovenian EP member Zoran Thaler has submitted his resignations from the EP. “My resignation should allow an investigation on all the facts and circumstances of this attempt to compromise my name, without any pressures”, said Zoran Thaler.

Hannes Swoboda, deputy president of the Socialist Group from the EP, has said that “any case of corruption or semi corruption is totally unacceptable” and suggested Adrian Severin should give up his EP member position.

Teodora Vaduva, [email protected]

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