The Front National has lodged a complaint with the European Anti-fraud Office (known as “OLAF”) in respect of MEPs from other political parties. It believes such parties might have resorted to the use of bogus or illegal assistant roles in the European Parliament. This was revealed yesterday by the European Anti-fraud Office.
This counter-attack comes at a time when the party and its President, Marine Le Pen, the French presidential candidate, are themselves suspected of resorting to using bogus assistant roles in the European Parliament.
A spokeswoman from the anti-fraud organ, responding to a question from the AFP (Agence France Presse) about this case referral to OLAF, said, “OLAF is able to confirm that it received these allegations” on behalf of the Front National (FN) on March 28th. The FN had already announced its intention to take action in this regard.
The spokeswoman stated, “Specialist experts” will assess the information sent by the FN, to determine whether OLAF is the competent body to hear them. They will also consider whether there is “sufficient suspicion of fraud, corruption or illegal activity affecting EU financial interests” to open an investigation.
The FN Vice-President, Florian Philippot, had indicated that around “thirty assistants” were working for “around twenty MEPs” in the European Parliament. These assistants are at issue in the proceedings. He said that the proceedings are being “taken to ensure equal treatment”, without stating which MEPs were subject to the proceedings.
The FN is itself suspected of resorting to bogus jobs for around twenty assistants in the European Parliament.
The European Parliament has started recovery proceedings for a total of 1.1 million euros, by means of deduction of indemnities from salary in respect of six FN MEPs for the use of such assistants. These include Ms Le Pen herself (for around €340,000 euros) and her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen (for approximately €320,000 euros).