A friend of Kassandra suggested that we should not refer to the non-entity ”International Management Group” (IMG) as “the Thing” but rather as “the Think.”
Our friend claims that “the Thing” (res in Latin) is something that exists while “the Think” is an imaginary situation, a state of mind, and that this reflects the situation more accurately.
We disagree. A non-entity, which in the past 20 years collected more than € 500 million (of which € 135 million from the European Commission) is something more than a “state of mind.” It is a perception, which has become reality.
Perceptions are, in fact, realities and to this effect I am somewhat confused.
Indeed I still do not know whether the issue should be the subject of investigation of prosecutors, or of psychiatrists, or of both. Because in this perceptional context two things are real, “the Thing” and the € 135 million paid by the Commission not to speak of the remaining € 365 million paid by Sweden , Norway, the UN and other major benefactors.
The case of psychiatrists should also be considered as I have learned that “the Thing” appealed in the European Court of Justice in Luxemburg against the European Commission in order to resume payments that were stopped after the OLAF report. Of course with € 500 million you can afford to take the matter not only to Luxemburg, but to the moon.
Nevertheless, we will see…
I know that “the Thing” is trying to find the OLAF report because it wants to present it to the ECJ in order to challenge the Commission Decision for having stopped payments. I do not know, however, why they want the report in full. All necessary information is included in the Opinion of the Legal Service of January 16, 2015 on the matter (full version was released by New Europe Online, June 1, 2015, http://www.neurope.eu/article/juncker-the-game-changer). Why would they even need the original?
This, brings up a logical question. When the case will be discussed in the Luxemburg Court, on which side will the Legal Service of the Commission stand? Will it defend IMG as it did with its Opinion above or with the Commission that blocked the payments?
In the meantime, as the OLAF internal investigation (OF/2014/0617/A4) is unfolding we wish to contribute with the names of three potential witnesses who might enlighten the matter as it why it happened that the Commission disbursed €135 million to the “Thing.” Indeed they have been well placed on both sides of the fence and can perhaps, help in the resolution of this matter:
Marc Franco the then acting Director General of the Commission recognized the IMG as an International Organization within the meaning of the Financial Regulation. In former times he was head of the EU Task force Kosovo and knows IMG and its activities since then.
Kevin Mannion, formerly head of the ECHO office in Belgrade, in the nineties was deputy Director of IMG an now is the General Coordinator in the same entity.
Richard Weber, formerly deputy Director General of DEVCO, now one of the principal advisors of IMG.