Antonio Panzeri has been the godfather of Morocco in Brussels for more than a decade. His colleagues at the European…
Antonio Panzeri has been the godfather of Morocco in Brussels for more than a decade. His colleagues at the European Parliament including senior MEPs were always under pressure from his office to pass pro-Morocco-friendly legislations. Panzeri was honoured by the king of Morocco and provided a safety net in European Parliament to protect the interest of the country at the very heart of the European democracy. While some Media try to artificially focus on Qatar, the big problem has always been Morocco.
The cash found with Panzeri and his partners belong to the Moroccan embassy in Brussels and also in Warsaw where they paid the former MEP to execute their agenda.Belgian police claim that more than €1.5 million in cash was taken from Eva Kaili and former MEP Pierre Antonio Panzeri’s houses in Brussels.
Francesco Giorgio, the right hand of the Godfather was reportedly recruited by Moroccan intelligence through Panzeri. He drafted plenary session resolutions and amendments under the direct supervision of the Moroccan embassy in Brussels and on some occasions with the central government in Rabat. Giorgio visited the country regularly and had a VIP reception at the Palace.
“By my nature, I am not very fond of lobbyists and therefore I have never received them. The only ones I receive are human rights defenders, who press as they should do to defend the human rights situation which is compromised in many countries”. And the pressure from Morocco to approve trade agreements with the European Union? “I don’t know if there was, but if there was, I didn’t suffer it precisely because I’ve never met lobbyists”.
It is 2017 when Pier Antonio Panzeri gives this interview in Brussels. The then MEP of the Democratic Party agrees to speak with the authors of “Inside the agreement”, a video investigation – which reached the final for the Dig award – on the devastating effects of the treaty between the European Union and Morocco on agriculture in southern Europe. Effects that do not seem to worry Panzeri, decidedly more interested in containing migratory flows from North Africa than in protecting the interests of our small farmers. On the other hand, “one of the two.
Either we allow oranges and North African oil to penetrate the European market or we catch the Moroccans and Tunisians”, argues the former number one of the Milan Chamber of Labor. Who says about lobbyists: “It’s a category that exists, it’s not that I despise it, but I prefer to form an opinion by looking at reality for what it is and not because it is conditioned by those who, even in good faith, think of selling their ideas”.
While working on the same investigation, however, many other European parliamentarians gave interviews to confirm the massive presence of Moroccan lobbyists in the days leading up to the approval of the treaty, which took place in 2012. Panzeri instead says he has not been subjected to these pressures. Yet he was precisely one of the men the Moroccans counted on to influence the choices of the European Parliament. This is supported by the investigators of the federal prosecutor’s office in Brussels, given that Panzeri is the man at the center of the investigation into the bribes that would have been paid by Rabat, but also by Qatar, in the heart of the EU institutions. According to the report of the Vice, the Belgian secret service which initiated the investigation, the interference activity of the Italian politician in favor of Morocco has been going on since at least 2014, while the operations in favor of Doha began in 2018.
” The origin of everything was after 2019 and the agreement provided that we would work to avoid resolutions against the countries and in return we would receive 50 thousand euros, this agreement was passed to Morocco and in a sense, it continued, and it was continued through the current ambassador who is in Warsaw Atmun Abderrahim”, Panzeri recorded before the investigating judge Michel Calise.