Who is the Guy representing you?

Guy Verhofstadt, candidate for EU Commission president, sits on the board of a multinational looking to gain from the privatization of water utilities in Greece. It is widely known that many of Greece’s problems with corruption stem from the cosy relationships between politicians and business interests. Yet that some of the EU candidates have similar ties with powerful lobby groups or industries appears to be of little concern.

In the recent televised debate for the Presidency of the European Commission, Ska Keller, the candidate for the European Greens, attacked the lobbyist system that has prevailed in Europe. “It’s the lobbyists who spend millions in influencing lawmakers like many of ourselves,” she said – adding an accent on ‘ourselves’ and a wry smile that could be interpreted as an innuendo for some of the other candidates present. “That needs to stop. And that is a big problem of the EU. We have to hear the voice of the people not the voice of the lobbyists.”

But for Guy Verhofstadt, the candidate for the Liberals, this is not the biggest problem. He said: “You cannot forbid that there are lobbyists, the problem is that from time to time, like we have seen the case in this Commission, there is corruption coming from that. That is the problem. And that we have certainly to fight against, and to make new rules; and we have made new rules in the last parliament to strengthen the fight against corruption, against the lobbyists… It is about who is the guy or the woman representing you and what are the ethics of these politicians…”

So who is the Guy representing you?

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