The MEP for Citizens and former president of the Balearic Government, Jose Ramon Bauzahas been forced to declare Up to eight trips that were not included in their official declarations on the European Parliament portal after the Qatargate jumpone of the largest cases of corruption in the body that ended with the arrest of the vice president of the Chamber, the Greek socialist Eva Kaili.
According to an extensive report by the prestigious organization Transparency International, the Mallorcan politician is the person who has presented the most statements after the scandal broke. It must be remembered that since 2021 he led a “friendship group” between the European Union and Qatar. Several MEPs explained during the days following the first news that this type of unions act outside the law and are “exactly” a pressure lobby.
“We found that out of a total of 321 declarations filed during the first 3.5 years of the current mandate, a whopping 103 (or 32%) were filed during the two-month period since the start of Qatargate. This means that at least 53 MEPs breached Parliament’s own code of conduct. We say ‘at least’, because there may be Members of the European Parliament who have not yet submitted statements on past events», they detail in the report.
Bauzá has included in his statements a trip to Poland to visit the Auschwitz concentration camp on January 20 and 21, 2020; an aviation conference held in Bologna on August 27, 2021; various events of the Global Tourism Forum in Dubai, United Arab Emirates —enjoyed three nights at the luxurious five-star Rixos Premium Dubai JBR hotel— between March 23 and 26, 2022. Just three days later, Qatar invited him to the Doha Forum with a ticket in business and stay in the JW Marriott Marquis City Center Dohaanother five star hotel.
Later, specifically on May 31, 2022, he traveled to Bahrain (also in business) to attend the EU-Bahrain Broadening the Tent conference. He enjoyed, as before, two nights at the Gulf Hotel Bahrain, another five star.
Five months later, in October, he traveled to Israel (this time in economy class, paid for by Brussels) with a European delegation. He spent three nights in the imposing Royal Beach Tel Aviv.
In November 2022, the Global Tourism Forum held three days of meetings and conferences in Bali, although Bauzá’s statement does not include a trip, only three nights at the Movenpick Resort & Spa hotel.
Finally, between November 28 and December 3, 2022, he participated in World Travel and Tourism that took place in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. According to the data provided by the politician himself, traveled in business and stayed six nights at The Ritz-Carlton, one of the most opulent in the city. Just six days after his last trip, Qatargate was uncovered.
Despite all the new information you have provided, Bauzá has not publicly explained what his work was at the head of the Friendship Group, if he received bribes or why he had not declared his trips. He limited himself to saying that he had not received a single euro, although he did not respond to the journalists who tried to contact him. In addition, there is an important case that has not been clarified nor does it appear in these new public statements: Bauzá traveled to Qatar during the month of September 2021 with one of the main people under investigation for bribery in the European Parliamentthe MEP Marc Tarabella – whose address in Brussels was searched by the Police and computer equipment was seized – and there they offered a press conference to praise the “advances” of the Arab country just when the deaths of thousands of workers in the construction of soccer fields for the 2022 World Cup. Through Twitter he published several images accompanied by this text: “Many thanks to the Qatari authorities for allowing me to experience two extremely exciting days personally and professionally”.
Transparency International recalls that in 2013 a rule was introduced in the code of conduct for members of the European Parliament according to which Members of the European Parliament must declare any event organized by a third party for which their travel, accommodation or subsistence costs have been paid or reimbursed by a third party.