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European Union prosecutors on Monday launched an investigation against a former president of the European Investment Bank (EIB) over allegations of corruption, a case observers described as the most high-profile by the bloc’s prosecutor’s office, the Financial Times reported.

The European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) announced it was probing two individuals, including former EIB President Werner Hoyer for suspected corruption, abuse of influence and misappropriation of EU funds.

In recent months, police from Germany and Luxembourg have collected material related to the investigation and raided Hoyer’s home, Politico noted.

Hoyer and his lawyer denied the allegations as “downright absurd and unfounded.” They said the case is related to the compensation paid to a departing EIB employee.

The former bank president did not participate in the negotiations, but signed off on the exit package in accordance with the institution’s rules, his lawyer added.

The second individual has not commented on the probe.

Hoyer served as the EIB’s president from January 2012 to December 2023 and played an integral role in recasting the institution’s operations toward a more green agenda, such as vowing to phase out lending to fossil fuel projects and directly funding climate action.

He managed the bank during the Eurozone debt crisis, protecting its top credit rating, though was hesitant to fully utilize the EIB’s financial resources in response to crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Luxembourg-based EIB, founded in 1958, acts as the EU’s lending arm and is instrumental in development and integration across the bloc by providing loans, guarantees, and investments in both the public and private sectors.

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