Industrious Lithuanian

Viktor Uspaskich who resigned his seat in the European Parliament last month.

A good political scandal has the power to ruin careers overnight. Yet some politicians, when confronted with allegations of corruption, manage to soldier on and even prosper. It is as if they thrive on controversy, seizing the opportunity to portray themselves as victims of media bias and political mud-slinging. Silvio Berlusconi is the finest example of this caste. Another is Viktor Uspaskich, a Russian-born pipe-welder who resigned his seat in the European Parliament last month having seen the Labour Party that he founded join a new, centre-left government in Lithuania. Though not a minister, he will be pivotal to the survival and success of the government, which will, in July, assume the presidency of the EU’s Council of Ministers.

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