Friday, June 02, 2006

Corruption Uproar elsewhere may not be so far away 

Why should LibDems be concerned because of the political uproar in Lithuania where Prime Minister Brazauskas has just (June 1st) resigned? Well two reasons.

The resignation came in the wake of this, reported in the Baltic Times on May 24th:

VILNIUS - The State Security Department raided Labour Party headquarters on
suspicions that the party had received donations from Russian special services
and bribes in exchange for support in procuring EU funds. Prosecutors are also
taking part in the investigation, which has triggered a new wave of instability
in the minority ruling coalition – and some say the worst crisis yet. Members of
the Labour Party, which is Lithuania’s most popular party, are being questioned
by investigators.

So this may reflects on the controversies over the routing of the proposed Baltic Sea Gas Pipeline.

Secondly, The Darbo (Labour) Party -which is the successor to the Communist party - is at the level of the European Parliament affiliated to the ELDR group. Alongside our own MEPs. (The EP Socialist Group includes the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party, which is actually Brazauskas’ own party).

Baltic Times says:

LNK television reported on May 25 that the Labour Party’s “black bookkeeping”
contains data about money “of vague origin” being paid to members of Parliament.
Reports suggest that the authorities came across documents proving that Labour
Party MPs were constantly paid large amounts of money from unknown sources.

If the investigation extends to Lithuanian Darbo Partija MEPs maybe some backwash our way to ride out – so I thought I would give some context to give a heads up.

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