Following the shocking revelations surrounding former European Parliament President Martin Schulz this weekend, the Parliament’s Press Service, run by a Schulz loyalist, has sought to cover up the scandal, refusing to highlight any media articles in their Weekend German Press Review.
Schulz may have left the EP but his totalitarian tactics live on. In an operation worthy of Goebbels, the EP Press Service, headed by Jaume Duch – a long-time crony whom Schulz had promoted to Director General before stepping down as President last month – has virtually ignored all the press articles over the weekend related to Martin Schulz and his campaign manager, Markus Engels, accused of abusing EU staff and financial regulations for personal enrichment during the five years of the Schulz presidency.
The revelations about Schulz were not made by some obscure local newspaper but by the well-known and respected weekly Der Spiegel. This article is buried at the back of the 26 page pile of news cuttings, but not flagged up as one of the highlights on the cover page. The financial scandal was also written about in the Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung, considered the German newspaper of record, and other media such as Die Welt. However, the Orwellian-named Media Intelligence Unit of the EP Press Service, working in collaboration with the EP Information Office in Berlin, did not include these articles. Apparently, allegations of financial impropriety against the man who headed the Parliament for the past five years are not worthy of a mention.
This is not surprising, the unit which produced the review is the very one that Schulz had created while President as a landing-pad for his then-press officer Markus Engels. However, when Schulz got a second two-and-a-half year mandate, Engels continued to work in his Cabinet, supposedly in Brussels, but in reality in the EP Information Office in Berlin – the problem at the heart of the fraud accusations – enabling him to claim thousands of euro in fake “travel expenses”.
By the end of his second mandate, Schulz had created a new unit in Berlin for Engels to head up and had him appointed by dubious means outside of normal recruitment procedures. Engels is now running Schulz’ campaign as SPD candidate to be Federal Chancellor.
Not content with ignoring the explosive allegations against Schulz in mainstream German media, the EP Media Intelligence Unit had the gall to include in its Weekend Review a nice story related to Schulz – one from Bild that painted him in a good light when it comes to EU funds: Mr Schulz announced that he would not accept his generous European Parliament pension “during the election campaign”. Of course, he did not say whether he would be cashing in as soon as the elections were over.
And these are the EU politicians that like to give lectures about “post truth” politics. Mr Goebbels would be proud of the legacy of Martin Schulz.