When leading a parliament includes helping the police raid lawmakers

Roberta Metsola, from Malta, who is the president of the European Parliament, in Brussels, Jan. 12, 2023. Metsola, the youngest person to become president of the parliament, is seeking to expand the assembly's role while guiding it through the aftermath of major bribery accusations. [Ksenia Kuleshova/The New York Times]

Roberta Metsola achieved a number of firsts when she was elected president of the European Parliament a year ago.

She was the first person from Malta, the smallest European Union country, to hold the job; the first woman in 20 years; and, at 43, the youngest president in the Parliament's history.

On Dec. 11 she also became the first president of the Parliament to participate in a police raid, as part of an investigation into suspicions of criminal corruption involving literal bags of cash and accusations that Qatar and Morocco had sought to buy influence within the legislature.

In her recounting of the raid in an interview with The New York Times, Metsola was at times incredulous at what had transpired, and at times wary about what lay ahead.

"Nothing could have prepared me for it," she said of the raid, speaking from her office in the European...

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