14 September 2006
The Financial Times today carries a startling report suggesting that 'mental health problems' have been used by the EU Commission as a means of shedding troublesome employees. The article which is linked from here begins as follows:
Brussels on trial over staff treatment
By Andrew Bounds in Luxembourg
Published: September 13 2006 18:50 | Last updated: September 13 2006 18:50
A civil servant branded as mentally unstable by the European Commission was subjected to harassment and blackmail a court heard on Wednesday, in a trial that questions the way the European Union executive rids itself of troublesome staff.
José Sequeira was marched from his office two years ago after the Commission’s medical service said he was mentally unfit to work. His lawyers claim he was singled out for raising allegations of corruption in the Jacques Santer-led Commission during the late 1990s.Unquote
We recommend this harrowing report be read in full, but for those lacking the time consider this section:
Commission staff have jobs for life but an average of 200 are placed on long-term sick leave every year, half with mental health problems. That is almost 1 per cent of its 22,000 workforce and most never return to work. A 2003 study found that the cost across all European institutions of the invalidity policy is €74m a year.
This blog has been quiet of late, but rest assured that between this posting and the previous many millions of taxpayers money has been wasted in Brussels and Strasbourg while all the MEPs involved are considerably better provided for as a result. The Daily Telegraph in Britain today reports on one such area with the headline "MEPs try to 'bury' pension scam report". It may be read in full from this link, while the following is a brief extract:
"...the largest group in the European Parliament, the centre-Right EPP, joined forces with the second largest bloc, the Socialists, in a procedural move to remove all references to the pension scheme from Mr Ferber's report.
Mr Davies, a Liberal Democrat, said: "The Socialists and the EPP are trying to find a way to bury this.
"As far as I'm concerned, that suggests the parliament has something to hide. The scheme is outrageous."He attacked the parliament for wanting to use public money to fund the current deficit in the scheme, caused by fluctuating share prices...."