PRO-AZERBAJIAN EP MP SEVERIN CAUGHT UP ON CORRUPTION
- The European Parliament has opened an investigation into allegations that three senior MEPs - all former government ministers - have accepted bribes in return for tabling amendments in the chamber intended to water down legislation regulating the financial industry. One of them is Adrian Severin, a former foreign minister and a member of the European Parliament, the main lobbyist for Azerbaijani interests. Mr. Severin has been booed in parliament. But he is refusing to budge.
Mr. Severin has served as an MEP since Romania joined the European Union in 2007. Until this week he was the vice-president of the parliament's Socialist group. But on Monday, a day after the scandal broke, Severin was forced out of his position and Martin Schulz, the Socialists' leader, told him to resign from the parliament immediately. In Romania his own political party, the Social Democrats, is threatening him with expulsion if he doesn't do the decent thing.
Group leader Martin Schulz - who won applause for his zero-tolerance handling of the affair - said: "If there is any other cases like this in future, I will handle it in the same way. Any member of the Parliament who might be in danger of being similarly exposed should step down now. They should not wait until there is a wave of public outrage. They should go - and go now.'
- 1877 Birth of public and political figure Sargis (Sergo) Khanoyan in Tbilissi. In 1937 he was killed -- a victim of Stalin's terror.
- 1912 Birth of Martin Karamian, writer and translator in Varkhuno, Georgia. He worked to improve Armenian-Georgian literary relations.
- 1929 The People's Commissariat of Education of the Armenian SSR approves the Kurdish alphabet for the Kurdish Minority in Armenia.
- 1998 The American-Armenian physician Jack Gevorgian, for the first time in history, implemented the suicide, by lethal injection of drugs, of a patient suffering from an incurable disease. The court sentenced him to a long prison term for his "act of mercy".