EPP Group demands full investigation into the Spanish Socialist Government's misuse of EU funds

13.03.2024 13:31

EPP Group demands full investigation into the Spanish Socialist Government's misuse of EU funds

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During today’s debate on the latest allegations of corruption and misuse of European funds by members of the Spanish Socialist Government during the pandemic, the EPP Group calls for a full and transparent investigation to identify and bring to justice those responsible.

“We are deeply concerned by the facts reported in the Spanish media on the ‘Koldo case’, which point to the possibility of serious fraud related to contracts financed by European funds. This would constitute a misuse of taxpayers' money and would be a crime against the financial interests of the European Union. The Commission has informed us that EU funds were affected, namely €14.6 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and €3.1 million from the EU Solidarity Fund,” says Monika Hohlmeier MEP, the Chairwoman of the Budgetary Control Committee.

An investigation is already underway by the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) into alleged crimes of embezzlement of public funds, prevarication and influence trading in accordance with the national law and the EPPO Regulation. The Spanish Government has announced that €3.7 million of EU funds have been withdrawn from the programme in the Balleares and €10.9 million of EU funds designated for the Canary Islands have been frozen and are under assessment. Spain has also announced that €3.1 million of EUSF funds will be given back to the Commission.

“We call on the Spanish Government to give up any reluctance to cooperate with EPPO, and to guarantee full cooperation in order to shed light on the facts and to find the offenders,” added Ms Hohlmeier.

“The European Parliament is very concerned about Spain. Unfortunately, the Spanish government is making Spain a problem case in Europe. First, the amnesty law, which is an attack on the rule of law. Now, the ‘Koldo case’, in which top government officials are being investigated for the misuse of millions of EU funds. The Spanish people are right to be upset with the Government. Spaniards played by the rules during the pandemic, while government officials misused EU funds. The European Public Prosecutors’ Office is right to investigate this case and the Spanish Government should allow the EPPO to do its job,” affirmed Siegfried Mureșan MEP, Vice-Chair of the EPP Group responsible for budget and structural policies.

“The EPP Group has zero tolerance for corruption and misuse of public funds. The Spanish Socialist Government has many questions to answer not only to Spanish citizens but to all European taxpayers,” stated Dolors Montserrat MEP, Vice-Chair of the EPP Group.

The EPP Group urges the Spanish government to make all the final beneficiaries transparent to the audit and control authorities of the European Commission and the EPPO and to publish in this regard the top 100 final beneficiaries in every region to ensure adequate public transparency. “We need to know where the money is,” stated Ms Hohlmeier.

Note to editors

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 178 Members from all EU Member States

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