Coming to the rescue in 2017, the European Commission approved the funding of projects meant to enhance waste management in Beirut and Mount Lebanon, and create environmentally-friendly waste governance.
As we know, that didn’t happen.
On November 14th of last year, French politician Thierry Mariani presented a complaint case of corruption to the European Parliament, based on a letter from a member of the Municipality of Tripoli, Nour Al-Ayoubi.
“Where did the money we sent to help Lebanon go?” MP Thierry Mariani appeared saying in a video from the European Parliament. The European Parliament is now on the look for its millions of dollars wasted in Lebanon but not in the waste management projects.
According to TRT World, “A maverick group of MEPs in the European Parliament is planning to recuperate over $38 million the European Commission lost in Lebanon on bogus waste management schemes.”
The TRT World reported this week that this process will include prosecuting those responsible, “big players in Lebanon, like Najib Mikati and Saad Hariri, who a Lebanese businessman has linked to millions of euros stolen from EU waste management programs” and “many other scams summing up to $1 billion.”
However, according to the TRT World report, opening a full investigation would reveal that there is up to $110 million of robbed EU money that includes the purchase of land and construction of 6 sewage works.
The reporter also states that Thierry Mariani is already on the “warpath” to investigate and return the embezzled EU aid to Lebanon. This reportedly will result in blocking millions of euros to Lebanon.
Mariani just stated on twitter: “Since my intervention at European Parliament over the “evaporation” of European subsidies on environmental projects in Lebanon, this question of corruption around the European funds allocated to Lebanon is now a real debate. Finally!”
Mariani pointed out that $33 million were sent to Lebanon to supposedly establish 11 waste management plans; instead, this money was going to corrupt politicians.
The newly formed committee of “MEPs in the European Parliament” will be investigating and prosecuting those responsible for the embezzlement of the EU funds.
“The MEPs are hoping that the Lebanese government would take the initiative to investigate themselves and hand back the cash to Brussels as a token of goodwill,” the TRT World pointed out.