23 MAR 2011
A Romanian lawmaker was expelled from the European Parliament's socialist group on Tuesday (22 March), the latest casualty of a cash-for-influence scandal that has forced the resignation of two EU legislators.
The leader of the Socialists & Democrats group, the legislature's second largest, said he had recommended to Adrian Severin that he quit parliament as well but Severin had refused.
Severin, a former foreign minister, is the third member of the European Parliament to come under fire after journalists from Britain's Sunday Times newspaper posed as lobbyists and enticed them to agree to amend laws in return for money.
Severin is shown on a video posted on the Internet outlining how he put forward amendments to laws at their request, agreeing to send an invoice.
But Severin said he had offered to work as a consultant only because of a desire to share his knowledge.
"I never asked for money for tabling amendments," he told Reuters, calling the incriminating video a "fake" because it combined several conversations and presented them in what he said was a misleading way.
He said his work as a consultant did not break the Parliament's rules but conceded: "I don't say that perhaps I didn't commit any mistake. Maybe somewhere [...] it is something which is not absolutely correct."
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