EXCLUSIVE: HOW BELGIAN ANTI-GREECE HAWK VERHOFSTADT HID HIS FINANCIAL INTEREST IN GREEK ENERGY PRIVATISATIONS

VerhoflickBelgian bombast licks his lips at the thought of Greek energy contracts….but his lips were sealed when it came to his personal interest in getting rid of Syriza

Boël family links show how Verhofstadt’s energy lobbying triggered régime change in Ukraine

Guy Verhofstadt, the senior MEP who lambasted Alexis Tsipras in Brussels last week, is on the Board of two companies due to gain from Greek energy privatisation…and is paid €190,000 a year by billionaire Nicolas Boël to lobby to that end. He has also been hawkishly anti-Putin over the Ukraine issue, where the Boël dynasty plotted régime change as a means of gaining valuable fracking contracts.

Many of you will doubtless have seen this Youtube vitriol aimed at Tsipras by Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt:

He’s a pretty unpleasant and vindictively sarcastic bloke who wants régime change in Greece more than most. But Verhofstadt’s vomit-inducing mélange of acrimony and sanctimony left out one rather important element: a declaration by this corrupt bombast that he has a personal financial interest in hounding Syriza from office.

You see, mijnheer Veryhighstink is on the Board of an energy company called Sofina. Sofina is quoted on the Brussels bourse – so, very handy for Guy – and yes indeed, here he is listed at Bloomberg:

Sofina2If the Greek privatisation programme demanded by Verhofshit et al goes ahead, then shareholders in Sofina stand to make a lot of money as the shares sky rocket and earnings per share rise. Last February 24th, Go-getter Guy argued strongly for the Greek energy privatisation to be given priority. Tsipras and Varoufakis specifically blocked such a move. Now however, Sofina’s partner in crime GDFSuez is a front runner to win that privatisation contract.

It’s a funny thing, but mijnheer Veryfat is very close to the Boël billionaire patriarch Nicolas, who owns 53.8% of Sofina.

Let’s not beat about the bush here, Guy Verhofstadt is paid €130,000 a year to lobby for Nicolas Boël.

It gets worse, I’m afraid. Verhypocradt is also on the board of Belgian shipping company Exmar, which specialises in the exploitation and transportation of gas; it too stands to make a fortune from the fire-sale of Greece’s seabed gas finds.

And blow me down with a Belgian windbag, Guy Verhofstadt is paid €60,000 a year to lobby for Exmar.

I think we have to ask European Parliament Chair and fellow anti-Tsipras loudmouth Martin Schulz why his chum Verhofstadt didn’t declare these obvious interest conflicts before laying into Alexis Tsipras, the spotless Prime Minister of an EU sovereign State. Also what he is going to do about these revelations.

And while Martin Shutzstaffel is pondering the best wriggle-strategy out of that one, he might also care to look into some of the Belgian chocolate’s other hobby-horses…and the remarkable confluence they have with his business interests.

For example, mijnheer Verhofstadt has been a passionate advocate of fast-tracking Ukraine into the EU. This is because the Boël family is determined to grab a slice of the big shale-fracking potential of the Ukraine: and again, they pay him to make things easier for them. The EU has been happy dealing with corrupt politicians and mobsters in Ukraine to this end, because Verhofstadt has argued that the needs justify the means.

To those ends, Verhofstadt travelled to Maiden Square in Kiev and addressed anti-government protestors there in February 2014, making a series of inflammatory statements that earned rebukes from UKip leaders. Ukrainian police snipers shot protestors before then-president, the Russia-backed Viktor Yanukovich, fled Kiev later that month.

As the Ukraine Crisis escalated, Russia annexed Crimea. Astonishingly, Verhofstadt wound up being a catalyst in the creation of the worst superpower standoff since the Cold War.

His masters needed régime change, so the ever-obliging Guy helped them get it. Having created a civil war where there had previously been a crisis, in May 2014, Verhofstadt wrote in a Guardian column as follows:

‘First and foremost, the international community cannot allow a military incursion of a sovereign state, of the kind undertaken by Russia, to be rewarded. Any outcome must involve Russian forces being withdrawn to pre-conflict levels….the regime in the Kremlin may show less inclination to consider the views of voters than western democracies, but it is not deaf to economic pressure, especially given the slide in the exchange rate of the rouble against the dollar and the potential loss of foreign direct investment as investors clamour to protect or sell their Russian-based assets….Russia will bow to economic pressure.’

He was wrong on all counts, but the key thing to note here is that this is what his paymasters were demanding: anything less would dash their hopes of getting the shale contracts.

This is the hypocrite who had the audacity to accuse Alexis Tsipras of not being a Democrat in the European Parliament.

This is the shifty lobbyist now revealed to be a creature pushing the corporacratic needs of neoliberal fascists…at the expense of recovery in Greece and peace in the Ukraine.

This is the self-promoting gargoyle MEP who should now be asked – if he cannot explain himself satisfactorily – to resign.

**Major hat-tip to Slogger Dan for pointing me in the right direction on this scandalous abuse of office.

Yesterday at The Slog: Former Ukipper Richard North loses it with The Slog after being shown up on his home turf

36 thoughts on “EXCLUSIVE: HOW BELGIAN ANTI-GREECE HAWK VERHOFSTADT HID HIS FINANCIAL INTEREST IN GREEK ENERGY PRIVATISATIONS

  1. ‘this scandalous abuse of office.’
    Show one who does not scandalously abuse his office. Birds of a feather and all that…
    It is all unfortunately water off a ducks back these days because, I have come to expect nothing less of these self serving troughers

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  2. Almost reminds one of Jeremy *unt and his recent speech ref. the NHS generally and doctors in particular. To hear that annoying little runt speak, anyone could be forgiven for thinking that he – and many of his appalling chums & relatives – have absolutely nothing to be gained personally from his felonious little plans. In any decent and ordered society men like Verhofstaatssicherheit and *unt would be tarred, feathered and then put to work picking oakum for the rest of their days.

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  3. Long live the lobbists and the parasites! How low can you REALLY go, psychotic “human” beings? Their neurosis has long ago bid us farewell and they have obviously become psychotic. Overwhelming greed and too much power given to unstable plus immoral males and females by the Global Neo-Liberal Regime.
    Not much of rare specimens for Psychiatry, though…The phenomenon has repeated itself throughout History more than once; nonetheless, the incidents and the individuals are increasing disturbingly. Can we afford delusional psychotic patients to be in charge of our futures time and again?
    Just give those people their medical treatments and confine them to psychiatric wards, the sooner the better.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thought you might be interested in the reply I wrote to a German friend who thinks the EG had no choice.

    As Winston Churchill said: “I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”

    Tsipras and Varoufakis certainly made many mistakes and, in so doing, have provoked your ire. They had not realistically expected to be leading a coalition and, without any serious government experience, were still very much wet behind the ears. Ahead of the elections the EC/EU propaganda machine went into overdrive to persuade the Greeks that voting for Syriza would be a bad idea, and they were right, but for all the wrong reasons.

    Corruption in Greece is endemic but at the low level it is simple tax evasion born of hundreds of years of hated Turkish rule. The real problem is at the top, especially the politicians of Pasok, Nia Demokritia and the rest of the ‘establishment’, exactly the people the EC/EU was trying to keep in the saddle, the same people who said they would reform Greece but didn’t and never would have, and the very same people who were happy to line their own pockets and those of their friends and let ordinary Greeks do the austerity thing.

    The ordinary Greek, as you say, seduced by the promise of an end to austerity finally got the chance to throw them out of office and – finally – elect some young idealists who were at least honest. How were they treated by the Troika, right from the start? Unsurprisingly, with total disdain. Here is where the naïvety of Tsipras and Varoufakis really showed though; they had assumed they could renegotiate the terms of the bail-out but the negotiations were only about how to implement those terms, not how to change them. Frustrated T&V made the next series of mistakes, ripping up previous agreements and generally getting right up the Eurogroup’s noses. The rest, as they say, is history.

    The Eurogroup, however, is way too fossilised to be able to react usefully and play to the strengths of T&V, namely a popular mandate in Greece, honesty and a desire to do the right thing. Assisted by the right levels of statesmanship, fraternity and good old realpolitik, these two could have done useful things. In particular they could have helped point the finger at the worst areas of corruption in Greece which is where so much of the money is going. They just needed to be cut a bit of slack.

    For what it’s worth, here’s my way that could (it’s too late now) have been used to get Greece out of the mire:

    1. Clamp down hard on tax evasion by increasing punishments for tax evasion and exposing a few high-profile cases at the same time having an amnesty for old evasion for all those who come forward with up-to-date, accurate accounts

    2. Reduce taxes for the ordinary working Greek, both income tax and especially VAT, down to levels which people consider low enough that it is not worth taking the risk of evading them. This is a tried and trusted technique. The Americans, in particular, have had great success with tax reductions in the past. For a highly taxed people, lowering tax levels routinely results in an increase in revenue due to all the people giving up trying to avoid it. Moreover, such a measure would be immensely popular as it would put money directly back into the pockets of those who most need it. Increased spending and the feel-good factor would bring unemployment down and drive productivity up raising tax revenues even further.

    3. Introduce reforms on a softly-softly basis i.e. the easier ones first and never too much too soon

    Instead of this, Syriza was bullied into submission, obliged to accept a whole raft of measures guaranteed to drive the economy further down the pan and now, either another absurdly large amount of money will be thrown down the rat-hole that the Greek economy has become or Grexit will ensue to the great misery of millions. Result? Destroyed relations between Greece and Nordeuropa (especially Germany) and the seed of doubt sown throughout Europe (including me) of whether the EU really is working in our best interests.

    Way to go.

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  5. In the spirit of European solidarity, the answer to this strange conundrum is for Sofina and Exmar to list their shares in London so that we can get a share of the action, after full disclosure of ‘related party transactions’. Only Belgium could have had a major multinational oil company, PETROFINA, which was not obliged to disclose to its shareholders that the Meus family had a controlling interest! Those were the days.

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  6. Many of our MP’s are no more than mouthpieces for their sponsors whether they be corporate, trade union or other activists. It has long been thus.
    Maybe an answer to any subterfuge would be a law that made them wear a jacket, rather like that of a racing car driver, with the names of his financial supporters displayed, with the the most generous ones having prominence.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you, John, for spelling out this unholy alliance. Alas, there is now no redress available to the Greeks: they’ve signed away their crown jewels. I despair of the expletive-deleted cesspit that the EU has become.

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  8. Pingback: EXCLUSIVE: HOW BELGIAN ANTI-GREECE HAWK VERHOFSTADT HID HIS FINANCIAL INTEREST IN GREEK ENERGY PRIVATISATIONS | Ελεύθερη Λαική Αντιστασιακή Συσπείρωση

  9. I went looking this morning for some evaluation of the Greek rape & humiliation, thinking in the back of my mind that this must surely herald the beginning of the end of the EU ‘project’. Sure enough, Washington is dismayed at the greedy ruthlessness of its chief EU puppet, Germany, & instructed Fifi from the IMF to bark at Angela. This could get interesting.

    There are a few good articles at: http://www.strategic-culture.org
    One: german panzer banks crush greece washington winces.
    Two: http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2015/02/02/mission-imperative-why-west-and-kiev-regime-must-kill-truth.html

    Bottom line, Western Govts & media are involved in an illegal war in Ukraine, which constitutes war crimes. imagine for a moment an email or letter dropping on the desk of every politician & major newspaper editor in this country denouncing them as a complicit war criminal. All on the same day?

    John Doran.

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  10. Washington sends IMF FiFi to bark at Angela, while IMF funds Kiev Nazi regime, at the same time plundering Greece.
    What’s Laguardog been told to say? “You should have used some vaseline?”

    EU & Western Govts & media are guilty of facilitating an illegal war in Ukraine for the last 10 months.
    There have been ~5,000 deaths so far, mostly civilian. Under international law these are war crimes, & every Western politician & media chief is complicit via their construction of the false “Russian Invasion” narrative, & the imposition of sanctions against Russia, to the detriment of their own economies & peoples.

    Imagine the impact of an email dropping on the desk of every politician & news editor in this country & the EU, informing them they are on a list for prosecution. They would shit. Why does Putin not arrange this?

    John Doran.

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  11. And the inaction from us plebs continues,how do you think the oligarchs read this?Until oligarchs have mirrors on sticks nothing will change.

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  12. Guy Verhofstadt and Stavros Theodorakis (To Potami) are very good friends and “brothers in arms”.

    Now I can understand why: Stavros is the pet dog of a Greek Economic Pimp and Guy Verhofstadt is the pet dog of an International and Multinational Economic Pimp.

    It does make sense.

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  13. John, a sincere tip of the hat to you and Dan.

    Won’t happen of course, but this fellow deserves to be flogged and buried alive.

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  14. @ Reloaded15
    “…………and the seed of doubt sown throughout Europe (including me) of whether the EU really is working in our best interests.”
    Such a very recent doubt suggests you are either very young or have not read much about what the EU has been up to in the past 50 years or so. It stretches the imagination to believe anyone so informed could still make such a naive assumption…..

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  15. Surprising that no one else seems to have noticed another Sofina board member is none other than the Vicomte Etienne D’Avignon a Belgian industrialist and former vice president of the EU Commission, who wears another hat as chairman of the Bilderberg Group, which counts many Europhile politicians amongst its members – and like the Commission, meets in secret and does not publish minutes of its meetings.

    There’s a rather entertaining Youtube of Farage telling Verhofstadt to shut up, showing the latter behaving like a truculent teenager (with hairstyle to match) –

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  18. Greeks have rejected the whole banana colony deal in Referendum two weeks ago. Politicians trying to reverse our rejection in parliament is impressive, but it does not change our standing Order. We have actually left the EU the day they asked for our National Property. But they don’t want you to know just yet.

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  19. Good stuff as usual, for the most part. Choked up on ‘Ukrainian police snipers shot protestors’ – no they didn’t, and among the victims there were police officers as well as protestors. Mercenary job targeted at further inflaming the protests.

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  20. Very good video by Harald Schumann doing the rounds. The Trail of the Troika:

    Good at showing how the EU broke it’s own rules throughout the cises since 2008.

    Plus you get a good look at the vile little creatures running the show. Surpirsed their own mothers didn’t drown the little buggers at birth.

    Like

  21. Pingback: How Belgian Anti-Greece Hawk Verhofstadt Hid His Financial Interest in Greek Energy Privatisations | Raging Bull-shit

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  23. How many psychopaths and stupid mammals are in positions over europe? NOBODY VOTE FOR THEM TO RULE OVER US they are new generation of nazis

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