European Public Prosecutor’s Office investigates former EIB president for corruption | Economy

The European Public Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the former president of the European Investment Bank (EIB) for “corruption, influence peddling and embezzlement of European funds.” Werner Hoyer was the head of the world’s largest multilateral public bank until December 31. The next day, with the start of the new year, the Spaniard Nadia Calvino took charge of the unit, which manages assets worth more than half a billion euros. On behalf of the unit, it is noted that the organization does not comment on open investigations and that it “fully” cooperates with the prosecutor’s office.

According to a statement released on Monday morning, in order to continue the investigation, it was necessary for the EIB to lift the immunity of “two former employees” of the unit. According to the British newspaper, one of those investigated is the bank’s former president, Werner Hoyer. financial Times And this newspaper has confirmed this with sources close to the investigation. The prosecutor’s office has also received permission from the bank, the world’s largest multilateral entity, to access its facilities and search files stored at its headquarters in Luxembourg.

The investigation has begun after the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) informed the Prosecutor’s Office of its suspicions. Both institutions are in charge of investigating irregularities committed with funds received from the Community budget, although there is an important difference between the two: the first, OLAF, is in charge of investigations at the administrative level; the second, the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, investigates in the judicial and criminal field.

German Werner Hoyer will step down as EIB president at the end of 2023 after a 12-year term. “The allegations against me are indeed absurd and unfounded. I now hope that they will be fully investigated and clarified and I ask the EIB to cooperate fully with the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. I am also cooperating fully with the European Public Prosecutor’s Office and I ask for a full clarification of the facts,” his legal team has said on his behalf.

This investigation into Hoyer is one of the most significant investigations launched by the prosecutor’s office into a senior official of the European institutions in 2021. With assets of more than half a trillion euros, the EIB is the world’s largest multilateral bank and the EU’s largest public lender. It is expected to play a key role in Europe’s dual transition (energy and digital) in the coming years and in promoting massive investments in the fields of security and defense. Along these lines, the entity has recently eliminated obstacles to being able to finance private sector investments in defense projects.

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