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Google hired at least 65 European government officials in 10 years

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Joseph White
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Tomas Gulbinas, a former ambassador-at-large for the Lithuanian government, and Georgios Mavros, an advisor to a French member of the European Parliament, are two recent Google hires.

Both were hired as lobbyists in 2015.The CfA claims Google has also hired from the likes of Poland s ministry of economy, NATO, the European Parliament, the British Embassy to the US, the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Spain s justice ministry.The UK government appears to be one of Google's preferred preying grounds, with Google hiring Conservative and Labour officials from 10 Downing Street, the Home Office, UK Treasury, House of Commons, and Departments of Education and Skills, International Development, and Transport.

The hire came months before the announcement that Downing Street had struck a settlement with Google to pay just £130 million in back taxes over a period of ten years.Elsewhere, Verity Harding, a special adviser to the former Deputy Prime Minister in the coalition government, Nick Clegg, was hired by Google in 2013.

Dame Margaret Hodge, who has served as a Labour MP since 1994, told the CfA that Google's strategic hires help it to gain influence in the public sphere.

In the process, they Google have gained "valuable contacts at the heart of the decision-making process," the CfA writes.Among the appointments were Baroness Joanna Shields, a former managing director for Google, who was appointed the UK s Minister for Internet Safety and Security at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport; and Google s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, appointed by British Prime Minister David Cameron to his business advisory council.Hodge added: "One gets the impression that government ministers are in awe of Google.

The CfA claims that Google went on a hiring spree in 2011 after the European Union announced a formal investigation into alleged antitrust violations by the company.

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