This is the real face of the EU the LeFT should stand united in rejecting not listening to Tony Blair and Blairites like Peter Mandelson, Roland Rudd, Alastair Campbell and raving mad Lord Adonis.
Anyone on the Left that still advocates we should reject the people and remain in the EU are truly enemy’s of the people. You can make countless arguments on economic grounds but they apply to trade. The fact is no one as ever suggested we do not trade with the EU not even the likes of Farage would go that far.
But if the Blairites think they can sell the idea that we would ever find social justice within the EU or a holt to austerity, then their argument is as dead as their cause.
Now the EU revolving door as stopped spinning we see a rogues gallery of unelected EU leaders and it doesn’t make good reading. The hardcore remainers who profess to be Left-wing must ask themselves who do they lend their support?
This term the commissioners taking up the top spots have once again impeccable qualifications more in tune with running an organisation like the ‘Cosa nostra’ where they would not be out of place sat around a table working out who gets what cut the spoils from underhand deals, profiteering, jobbery, turning a blind eye or simple old fashioned protection rackets. This geopolitical trade organisation the EU has lent itself to abuse and corruption since its very conception and it keeps appointing dubious leaders to run it, no wonder The EU’s very name is synonymous with the word corruption.
The last 10 years we have witnessed a string of politicians within the EU associated with the paradise papers or Panama Papers, some placed in the highest positions within the EU like the former head of Europe’s antitrust watchdog Ex-EU commissioner Neelie Kroes. The former European Commissioner Neelie Kroes, who is now a paid adviser to Bank of America and Uber, failed to declare her directorship of an offshore firm in the Bahamas while she was the most powerful corporate enforcer in Brussels.
The information came from a leak of 1.3m files from the Bahamas corporate registry, which brought to light the names of directors and shareholders at nearly 176,000 shell companies, trusts and foundations located in the Caribbean tax haven.
The data was received by Süddeutsche Zeitung, the German newspaper behind the Panama Papers, and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists who released the files to the public online.
Of course, many more names were printed within these famous leaked documents. President Jean Claude Juncker not least who blocked investigations into wholesale tax scandal within his own country Luxembourg during his tenure as president the home to the infamous Luxleaks the financial scandal revealed in November 2014 by a journalistic investigation conducted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
The revelations laid bare more than 300 secret tax deals that Luxembourg had struck with global businesses, including Disney, Skype, GlaxoSmithKline, Koch Industries and Black & Decker.
In several cases, the deals — known as “tax rulings” — allowed firms to pay less than 1 percent tax in Luxembourg.
The EU’s second smallest member state was secretly offering huge tax favours on an industrial scale. In some instances, leaked documents showed officials even granted lucrative tax deductions for “deemed interest” — that is, pretend payments of interest on loans that, in reality, were interest-free.
In 2014, there were immediate calls for the European Union’s then-new competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager to take action.
If Luxembourg’s tax rulings were found to offer benefits to preferred companies then Vestager could use EU competition law — which bars countries from giving state aid to favoured businesses — to reverse these deals and force multinationals to make up years of tax underpayment.
But Vestager declined immediate action stating:
“We consider the Luxembourg-leaked documents as market information,” she told reporters in November 2014. “We will examine it and evaluate whether or not this will lead to the opening of new cases.”
Now time is running out. The current Commission as now ended its five-year term, and Vestager remains silent. Why?
Certainly, the Lux Leaks scandal was an uncomfortable episode for her boss, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. He had previously served as Luxembourg prime minister for almost two decades, the time period in which his officials approved the Lux Leaks tax deals.
In the UK, Margaret Hodge, a member of the British parliament and a prominent tax campaigner, asked: “How can we know he’s working in the interest of Europe when, as prime minister in Luxembourg, he has exploited populations in every European country and elsewhere for decades?”
Many sceptics asked the same question. But Juncker faced down the barrage of criticism, comfortably surviving a no-confidence vote in the European Parliament — and even repositioning himself as a champion of tax reform.
The EU has failed once again to implement any meaningful tax legislation member countries voting down any attempts to stop tax avoidance it seems very much as always suspected the EU carrying out a game, a charade when it comes to stopping corporate tax avoidance.
The EU doesn’t care what you think.
Jean-Claude Juncker called his team the “Last Chance” Commission. His successor, Ursula von der Leyen, could end up leading the “Innocent-Until-Proven-Guilty Commission.”
The face of the EU knows no shame, it now as lessons are not learnt when the organisations just don’t care. The EU has appointed as its president the former defence minister that is undergoing a corruption investigation
During a news conference, Ursula von der Leyen was asked by a reporter:
“In your team, there are a number of commissioners who are questionable, a couple of them are subject to a European Anti-Fraud Office inquiry or investigation,” a reporter asked. “Why did you not just turn them down? Because otherwise, your Commission might already have this tarnished image, including people who are suspected of having committed fraud, even if they are presumed innocent.”
In posing the question, the reporter invoked a reference to the Commission of Jacques Santer, which was forced to resign in March 1999 over a corruption scandal centred on the French commissioner, former Prime Minister Édith Cresson. It was hardly the sort of comparison von der Leyen wanted as she announced her new team, even as Plumb and Wojciechowski denied any wrongdoing.
“I am not going to comment on OLAF’s investigations because they are entirely independent, they will conclude their work and we will listen to what they have to say.” — Ursula von der Leyen
“OLAF is an independent body and that’s how it should be,” von der Leyen said. “One is always presumed to be innocent, as you quite rightly pointed out.”
Ursula von der Leyen under investigation.
That presumption is of importance to von der Leyen personally, as she faces grilling by the German parliament over allegations of misspending and mismanagement during her tenure at the German Defense Ministry, which she led for five-and-half years before being tapped in early July as the first woman to head the European Commission.
An investigative committee of the German parliament is examining how lucrative defence ministry contracts were awarded to high-priced outside consultants without proper oversight and whether a network of informal personal connections involving some ministry officials facilitated those deals. The committee plans to subpoena von der Leyen and summon her to Berlin for questioning, likely in this December.
The scandal at the defence ministry was known but played little role in deliberations among national EU leaders when they decided to propose von der Leyen for the EU’s top executive position. One EU official waved off the suggestion that the European Council should have engaged in more thorough vetting, saying that it was impossible to find anyone with a career in politics who had not faced some sort of criticism or charges. Really!
Christine Lagarde convicted criminal
France’s President Emmanuel Macron was instrumental in Ms Lagarde’s nomination. Praised by the Western media, Lagarde was also endorsed by Wall Street and the US Federal Reserve.
Christine Lagarde, the former head of the IMF and ‘chief advocate of Austerity’ throughout the EU, Lagarde took her post in 2011 serving two terms, the former French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde at 55, was named the first woman to head the International Monetary Fund.
Lagarde was endorsed by the then UK Austerity Chancellor George Osborne said he was “delighted” along with the French President Nicolas Sarkozy calling it “a victory for France”. The same Ex-French president Sarkozy who is himself to stand trial for corruption, influence-peddling.
What media reports fail to mention is that Lagarde is a corrupt official involved in financial fraud. She has a criminal record. Lagarde no stranger to the courtroom herself was convicted and found guilty of criminal charges over massive government payout in 2016. Christine Lagarde was convicted over her role in a controversial €400m (£355m) payment to a businessman.
Is the Eurozone in danger? Financial fraud is embedded at the highest levels of political and economic decision-making. A senior official in high office with a criminal record can easily be manipulated. Indelibly this will affect the way she manages the ECB, with potential impacts on the very fabric of monetary policy.
Lagarde’s appointment to head the ECB has not been a matter of debate or concern. EU citizens have not been informed.
She is an obedient instrument of the financial and banking establishment which controls both the IMF and the European Central Bank. The European Parliament is silent.
French judges found Ms Lagarde guilty of negligence for failing to challenge the state arbitration payout to the friend of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The 60-year-old, following a week-long trial in Paris, was not given any sentence and was not punished in any way.
The lead judge on the case, Martine Ract Madoux, explained the absence of any sentence by citing Lagarde’s preoccupation with the 2008-09 financial crisis that was raging at the time of the payout as well as her strong international reputation. The charge could have carried a maximum one-year prison sentence.
Christine Lagarde, former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, has now taken up her duties as President of the European Central Bank.
Thierry Breton up until a few weeks ago Boss of ATOS
Thierry Breton the EU Commissioner for the Internal Market portfolio was second choice believe it or not. The first choice Ms Goulard, a longtime ally of President Emmanuel Macron, Goulard resigned as France’s defence minister in 2017 following a legal investigation into her use of assistants during her time as an MEP. European Parliament spokesperson said at the time that Goulard’s case in the EU chamber was “closed,” as Goulard reportedly paid back €45,000 for her former assistant’s salary, even as the legal investigation by French authorities remained ongoing.
Thierry Breton was confirmed as the EU commissioner after Goulard was considered to toxic to continue. However Breton the former Boss of ATOS did not come without controversy, Breton not only proceeded over the company that here in the UK was responsible for the deaths of thousands of disabled and sick people.
In the United Kingdom, from 1998 – 2015 Atos Healthcare was at the centre of a controversy over the management of contracts by their healthcare division of the Work Capability Assessment for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). In August 2015, statistics from the Department of Work and Pensions revealed that 2,380 people had died between 2011 – 2014 soon after being found fit for work through disability benefit assessments. In 2014, “the DWP negotiated an early exit from the existing WCA contract with the private firm, Atos, after raising concerns about the quality of its work”.
However, Atos still (as of October 2016) undertakes work for the DWP in assessing Personal Independence Payment applications. The Press Association revealed in 2017 that Atos, used by the DWP to make its decisions, are set to be paid more than £700m for their five-year contracts against an original estimate of £512m.
When Atos took over administering PIP’s estimates of how fast claims could be processed were over-optimistic as were estimates of how easily claimants could get to assessment centres. This led to delays in assessments, distress to claimants and unexpectedly high costs. Atos was accused of misleading the government.
Atos developed a computer system that would extract data from GP’s computers nationwide. Costs rose from £14 million to £40 million and it was felt Atos had taken insufficient care how it spent taxpayers’ money.
EU HAVE HANDED THE KEYS TO THE KINGDOM TO LEX LUTHER.
Atos has also been one of the main recipients of EU funding from the European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (EU-LISA), to build what have been called “virtual walls”. These are IT systems that control, monitor and survey people at the EU’s external borders. According to the Transnational Institute, these programmes use “stringent controls following generalised threat assessments based on biometrics and features, not in the least skin colour”. Moreover such border control systems can also be seen as trial runs for a possible later deployment in the general population.
An internet monitoring system dubbed ‘Eagle’, which was developed by Atos’ subsidary, Bull, is even now the focus of an investigation by the Paris Prosecutor’s office. The system was sold to various repressive regimes including the Khadaffi regime in Libya, Ben Ali’s Tunisia and the Moroccan secret service, allowing them to monitor citizens and journalists. Breton was a board member of Bull.
Breton’s approval by the European Parliament means he now become responsible for steering EU policy in these areas. The mission letter assigned to Commissioner-designate Breton would put him in charge of investing in technologies like “blockchain, high-performance computing, algorithms, and data-sharing and data-usage tools”; “defining standards for 5G networks”; coordinating an “European approach on artificial intelligence and on the new Digital Services Act”; and, finally, building a real single market for cybersecurity”. It seems like the EU have handed the keys to the kingdom to Lex Luther.
Josep Borrell convicted and fined for insider trading
Josep Borrell Spain’s former foreign minister now the High Representative of the European Union was convicted and fined for insider trading, Borrell became socialist candidate for prime minister for the 2000 elections, but pulled out of the race over a fraud probe into two officials he had appointed to senior jobs in the finance ministry — though he was not implicated in the alleged wrongdoing.
He faced later troubles over his links with Abengoa, a renewables business with debts that pushed it to the brink of bankruptcy. Last year, he was convicted and fined €30,000 by Spain’s securities regulator for insider trading of the company’s shares in 2015.
His time as foreign minister has also generated controversy. He drew criticism over an agreement he struck with Russia in November to set up a joint cybersecurity group to stop the spread of misinformation; Yes Really!
Charles Michel the Belgian Ex-prime minister was forced out of office after no-confidence motion
Michel was forced to offer his resignation to the King of the Belgians, Philippe, after the Socialist party, with support from the Greens, proposed a vote of no confidence in his administration.
Charles Michel, named succeed Donald Tusk as head of the European Council, has been Prime Minister of Belgium since October 2014. Before he was ousted in a vote of no-confidence rejected by thee left.
Michel is the second Belgian to take the relatively new EU role, following his Dutch-speaking predecessor Herman Van Rompuy, who was the first to have the job in 2007.
Michel is a career politician following his father, Michel was Minister at 25 years old, prime minister at 38, this French-speaking liberal, now 43, has quickly risen up the ranks, after an early arrival in politics in the shadow of his father, the former European Commissioner Louis Michel.
Sins of the father
Louis Michel when Belgian foreign minister was accused in court of covering up an alleged corruption scandal involving the mass sale of EU entry visas to organised crime groups.
Court documents alleged that Louis Michel, the EU’s leading envoy during Belgium’s six-month EU presidency, had ignored widespread misconduct at the Belgian Foreign Ministry and continued to protect the mastermind of a smuggling network operating from the country’s embassy in Bulgaria in the 1990s.
The civil lawsuit against Mr Michel was brought by a Belgian diplomat, Myrianne Coen, who served as first secretary in the embassy in Sofia. She claims that her superior, ambassador Koenraad Rouvroy, was tied to the Russian mafia and created fictitious companies to request EU visas for the criminal underworld.
In November 2010, Louis Michel led a delegation of 50 MEPs on an eight-day trip to an ACP–EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly meeting in Kinshasa, whose total cost to the Parliament’s administrative budget was €1.03 million, an average cost per MEP of €20,511. It was the costliest parliamentary delegation trip outside the EU in 2010