It’s like something out of a crime novel. On an early December morning last year, after months spent staking out residences and tapping phones, Belgian police officers raided dozens of places across Brussels. Over the course of the next three days, in apartments and hotel rooms and offices, they seized laptops, cellphones and approximately 1.5 million euros, or $1.6 million, in cash.
By the next week, four people had been arrested on charges of corruption, including two representatives, one former and one present, of the European Parliament. Antonio Panzeri, a retired parliamentarian from Italy, eventually admitted to being the scheme’s ringleader.… Seguir leyendo »
“I’m committed”, Kyriakos Mitsotakis told an audience of industrialists and entrepreneurs in April 2018, to “a government of the truly best people”. Under his leadership, the vices of the past — nepotism, corruption — would no longer be tolerated. Greece, he announced on the day he became prime minister in July 2019, could “proudly raise its head again”.
Three years later, many outsiders have been convinced of the reformation. Microsoft, Pfizer and JP Morgan Chase have set up offices in the country, a streamlined visa program has incentivized thousands of digital nomads to relocate to Athens, and a relentless tourism push — “You will want to stay forever!”… Seguir leyendo »
Six years after finding themselves at the forefront of Europe’s political crisis over refugees, thousands of Greeks are now refugees in their own country.
On July 21, a small wildfire began burning over the northern half of Evia, an island around 30 miles northeast of Athens. Over the next 20 days — most of which exceeded 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or 38 degrees Celsius — it swelled into a vast conflagration, sweeping from one coastline of Evia to another and racking up a staggering balance sheet of damage: 120,000 acres of burned forest, hundreds of millions of euros in economic loss, and the wholesale evacuation of dozens of villages and thousands of islanders.… Seguir leyendo »
Malta is notorious for its corruption. For decades, a pair of political machines – the Labour and Nationalist parties – have operated with impunity on the island. But in 2013 the corruption went into overdrive.
After 15 years out of power, the Labour party took office, and within months, public assets were being sold off to Azerbaijan. The new government also licensed a collection of financial laundromats masquerading as banks, just as the island became a haven for ever greater flows of dirty cash, and people shuttled their own fortunes away to offshore holdings in Panama and Dubai.
One person was watching obsessively, however.… Seguir leyendo »