Former ITUC chief sacked after Qatargate revelations

Former ITUC chief sacked after Qatargate revelations
Credit: OECD / Michael Dean

The International Trade Unions Confederation (ITUC) has voted against the return of Luca Visentini as the organisation's General Secretary. The former trade union chief had accepted payments from Antonio Panzeri, one of the MEPs at the heart of the recent Qatargate scandal.

The ITUC confirmed on Sunday that Visentini "no longer had the confidence" of its general council, voting not to have him return to his role as General Secretary.

He had resigned in November after it was revealed that he had accepted payments from an NGO headed by disgraced MEP Antonio Panzeri, accused of having been paid by the Qatari State to lobby on their behalf.

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An ITUC audit report, which The Brussels Times was able to consult, showed that Visentini had used Panzeri's money to finance his election campaign trips throughout 2022. The ITUC stated that these donations had not influenced their policies but did concede that "the events of the past few months have caused significant damage" to their reputation.

To replace Visentini, the organisation's General Council will meet at the beginning of May to elect an Acting General Secretary, after which an extraordinary ITUC World Congress will be held to appoint Visentini's permanent replacement.

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