EU Lawmaker Kaili Suspended From Party in Corruption Scandal

Eva Kaili, a Greek politician in the European Parliament, is facing accusations she’s tied to a scandal involving Qatar lobbying.

AccessTimeIconDec 9, 2022 at 10:51 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 9, 2022 at 10:53 p.m. UTC

European Parliament Vice President Eva Kaili, a key figure in ongoing efforts to regulate crypto in Europe, has been suspended from her party in reaction to reports that she and others are allegedly tied to a wide-ranging corruption scandal involving illicit lobbying activity for Qatar.

Kaili – a rare crypto ally among progressives – is a Greek politician and member of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, which said they’d suspended her “in response to the ongoing investigations.”

“We are appalled by the allegations of corruption in the European institutions,” the group said in a Friday statement. And it separately confirmed a decision to suspend her “membership of the S&D Group with immediate effect.”

Kaili's national party in Greece, the Panhellenic Socialist Movement, also announced on Twitter it would expel her.

The vice president had recently indicated she’d be holding the pen on the Parliament’s effort to clear up ambiguities in the rules for non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and she said she wanted to avoid the controversies of the EU’s Markets in Crypto Assets law (MiCA) by focusing on regulating activities rather than individual entities.

Kaili didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the investigation, nor did the public prosecutor there.

The EU lawmaker’s home was reportedly raided and she was detained, according to Belgian newspaper Le Soir, with local press saying the public prosecutor confirmed the raid happened.

Kaili has maintained an open approach to the digital assets industry as Europe made ground-breaking efforts in beginning to establish rules of the road – well ahead of U.S. efforts.

“We don’t expect innovation to fit our old boxes,” she said in a CoinDesk interview last year. “We are creating new boxes and allowing them to keep evolving without feeling that it is a hostile environment.”


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Jesse Hamilton is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for global policy and regulation. He doesn't hold any crypto.

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Jack Schickler is a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.

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