Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán took to Twitter to give his take on the ongoing corruption scandal that has rocked the European Union, using a meme to mock the European Parliament, whose left-dominated majority has for years accused his country of corruption.
“Good morning to the European Parliament!” Orbán tweeted, accompanied by an image of laughing politicians. The joke was obviously on the European Parliament, whose vice-president, Greek Socialist MEP Eva Kaili, was arrested for corruption over the weekend.
Kaili was arrested on suspicion of corruption and money laundering, with the socialist MEP accused of accepting bribes from Qatar in exchange for helping the country increase its influence in Europe. A search of the MEP’s home reportedly found bags full of cash; a total of €600,000 was found after police searched 16 different locations in Brussels. Four other individuals have been detained in regard to this case, including Kaili’s life partner.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the charges against Kaili were “very serious” and is calling for Europe to create a new ethics body.
The Greek MEP was suspended, with immediate effect, from her role as vice-president of the European Parliament by its president, Roberta Metsola; however, she does not have the power to permanently remove Kaili from her post.
She was also suspended from the EU parliament’s Socialists and Democrats Group and removed from Greece’s center-left Pasok party.
Hungary is currently being accused by the European Union of a number of issues involving corruption, which Brussels has used as a pretext to withhold billions in EU funding. Critics of the EU’s actions argue the move is politically motivated and that Hungary ranks relatively low in terms of corruption compared to several other countries in Europe with severe corruption problems, such as Italy. The EU has also funneled billions to Ukraine this year despite the country being ranked one of the most corrupt countries in the world.
The ongoing corruption investigation into Kaili, which watchdogs have labeled as potentially one of the biggest such scandals in EU history, has served as a major black eye to European-level institutions. Besides being a very high-ranking member of the European Parliament, Kaili has also criticized Poland in the past for its “authoritarianism.”
The 1981 image posted by Orbán shows then President Ronald Reagan and his team, including Vice-President George Bush, sharing a joke with legendary CBS anchor Walter Cronkite, following Cronkite’s last interview with Reagan.