Union organizing chief sacked after EU donation probe

BRUSSELS (AP) — A group representing trade unions around the world has fired its secretary general after he admitted accepting donations from suspects in a major cash-for-influence scandal in Europe, saying the incident severely damaged the organization. organization’s reputation. The trade union federation, which claims to represent some 200 million workers worldwide, said in a statement after the weekend meeting that “the General Council no longer has confidence in Luca Visentini as ITUC secretary general.” He was suspended the following month after Belgian prosecutors investigated whether criminal organizations had accepted bribes from representatives of Qatar and Morocco to influence decisions in the European Parliament. Vicentini, who was not charged with involvement and denies any involvement in corruption, was suspended by ITUC after his detention. He admitted accepting donations from a charity set up by Pier Antonio Panzeri, a former EU lawmaker at the center of the scandal. ITUC’s public affairs office declined to respond to emails or take calls from journalists for weeks after Belgian prosecutors launched multiple raids in Brussels in December, seizing hundreds of thousands of euros in cash. published on its website Saturday. ITUC says it has 332 affiliated organizations in 163 countries. A special committee set up to investigate the allegations against Visentini “found no evidence that donations from Qatar or Morocco influenced ITUC policies or programmes,” the group said. “An extraordinary ITUC World Congress” will soon be organized to name Visentini’s permanent successor, the statement said. Italian national Panzeri and three others have been charged with corruption, money laundering and joining a criminal organization in the biggest corruption scandal in the EU parliament. He recently struck a deal with prosecutors, promising to name and detail how the bribes were paid in exchange for a lighter sentence. Where should you invest $1,000 right now?

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