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21st Jul 2019

MEPs want Volkswagen EU loan fraud report published

  • The European Parliament wants the European Investment Bank to make public a report investigating how Volkswagen Group managed to acquire an EIB loan through deception (Photo: European Parliament)

The European Parliament has asked the European Investment Bank (EIB) to publish a report about how German carmaker Volkswagen Group (VW) was able to acquire a €400m loan by deceiving the bank.

MEPs decided, by a majority of just two votes, to include the request for publication in a text on the EIB's 2016 activities, which was adopted on Thursday (8 February).

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  • EIB president Werner Hoyer came to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday, but the VW fraud report was not part of the debate (Photo: European Parliament)

This website has asked the EIB and the EU's anti-fraud agency Olaf, which wrote the report, to release the document – but has so far hit a brick wall.

Following the revelations in September 2015 that VW had cheated on diesel car emission tests, Olaf investigated a €400m EIB loan to the carmaker.

Olaf finished the probe in the summer of 2017, and found that VW had "misled" the EIB.

The report, as well as recommendations on how the EIB could prevent future cases of deception, were however kept confidential. An access to documents request by this website is still pending.

The European Parliament cannot force the EIB to publish the papers, but on Thursday decided to exert political pressure.

It adopted an amendment tabled by Finnish Greens MEP Heidi Hautala, a former minister for international development, calling for publication of the documents.

The parliament also asked the Luxembourg-based EIB "to explain the extent to which loans were made to car companies found to have manipulated emissions and provide an overview of how many of these loans have been counted as climate action".

The amendment was adopted by a very slim majority – 294 votes in favour; 292 against; and 34 abstentions.

Support for the amendment was found mostly on the left side of the political spectrum, with the entire Greens and GUE groups voting in favour.

Except for four members of the Socialists & Democrats, the centre-left group also supported the transparency request.

The largest group in the parliament, centre-right European People's Party (EPP), voted near-unanimously against the amendment – Portuguese deputy Jose Inacio Faria was the only EPP member to support it.

The majority of members of the European Conservative and Reformists, and the Liberal groups, also opposed it.

However, after the amendment was introduced, the final text was supported by a large majority of 493 MEPs. The text is legally non-binding and the EIB can formally choose to ignore it.

EIB 'more sensitive' to fraud after Dieselgate

The president of the European Investment Bank, Werner Hoyer, said the bank had high standards - but did not explain why an anti-fraud report on a loan to Volkswagen was being kept secret.

EIB silent on report into 'fraudulent' VW loan

European Investment Bank vice-president Taylor tells EUobserver the fraud investigation into a €400 million EIB loan to Volkswagen had 'considerable ramifications', but didn't want to explain why the report was kept secret.

Investigation

EU probe into VW loan remains opaque

EU anti-fraud agency and European Investment Bank tight-lipped on report that said Volkswagen deceived the bank when acquiring a €400 million loan.

EU investment bank rejects MEPs' plea for VW fraud report

European Investment Bank cites privacy and ongoing investigations as reasons for refusing to release an anti-fraud report into how it lent €400m to Volkswagen, while the company was rigging emission tests.

Greens commit to air quality 'super commissioner'

Following an investigation into the Dieselgate scandal, the European Parliament recommended a single commissioner should be responsible for both air quality and setting industrial standards. But only the Greens want to commit to carry out that advice.

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