Luca Visentini, the world boss of trade unions has been removed from his post

Luca Visentini the world boss of trade unions has been

This Saturday, March 12, the Italian trade unionist Luca Visentini, involved in the investigation for corruption in the European Parliament, was dismissed from his post as general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), announced the organization in a press release.

On March 12, 2023, the ITUC General Council “ decided that Luca Visentini no longer had his confidence as general secretary “. A ” Extraordinary World Congress “will be organized” as soon as possible with a view to electing a new Secretary General at the head of the institution, the statement said. ” The events of the last few months have considerably damaged the reputation of the ITUC. Important lessons learned (…) We are determined to protect the ITUC from any form of undue influence, and even from any suspicion of influence commented Akiko Gono, the president of the organization.

Cash payment

Luca Visentini was arrested in December 2022 in the Belgian investigation into suspicions of corruption of MEPs involving Qatar and Morocco, then released on conditions after two days in police custody. The 54-year-old Italian admitted at the end of December to having received a cash payment ” a donation of less than 50,000 euros from the NGO Fight Impunity led by his compatriot, former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, considered one of the key suspects in the case. Mr. Visentini had however assured that this donation was not linked to any attempt at corruption or influence peddling for the benefit of Qatar, but was intended to reimburse certain costs generated by his campaign to take the head of the ITUC.

He was elected in November at the head of the organization, before being suspended from his functions on December 21 by the governing body of the ITUC. The CSI indicated, Saturday, March 11, to think about adding to its statutes “ possible amendments to campaign finance for leadership elections of the confederation.

Three people in pre-trial detention

The ITUC, which federates 338 trade unions in 168 countries and territories around the world, nevertheless ensures “ found no evidence of donations from Qatar or Morocco influencing its policies or programs “. Three people are currently in pre-trial detention in Belgium as part of the investigation opened by the Belgian courts into suspicions of interference by Qatar and Morocco in the positions taken by the European Parliament, by means of cash payments which passed through Pier Antonio Panzeri. During a first wave of arrests and searches on December 9 in Brussels, the investigators had got their hands on 1.5 million euros in cash distributed in bags or suitcases. Qatar and Morocco have strongly denied – for the past three months – being at the origin of any corruption.

(With AFP)

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