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23 March 2009

EU Commissioners Pensions - Outrageous

The following report is from Open Eurpee's press summary for today.

New research from Open Europe finds that EU Commissioners will take home more than £1 million each on leaving office

New research from Open Europe has found that European Commissioners leaving office this year could receive more than £1 million in pension payments, 'transitional' payments and 'resettlement' allowances.

Page 2 of the News of the World reported that the longest serving Commissioners, Commission Vice-Presidents and Communications Commissioner Margot Wallstrom and Industry Commissioner Gunter Verheugen, will receive the largest amounts with pension funds worth almost £1.8 million. The article quoted Open Europe Director Lorraine Mullally arguing that, "While taxpayers struggle in the recession and worry about losing jobs, their money is going to pamper grossly overpaid eurocrats with eye-watering salaries. It's outrageous this team of unelected Brussels civil servants walk away with these vast sums. This is totally unjustified."

The Telegraph reported that even UK Commissioner Catherine Ashton who replaced Lord Mandelson, and who has been in the job for less than a year will qualify for three-years of transitional allowances, worth over £89,000 a year, and that the pension costs alone of the five-year Barroso Commission amount to more than £33 million.

The article quotes Open Europe' Sarah Gaskell saying that, "Even Sir Fred Goodwin would be impressed at the size of the pensions that Commissioners are walking away with...Taxpayers around Europe, whose pensions have been swallowed up in the recession, will rightly question why they are footing such an enormous bill for a handful of remote officials who they never voted for in the first place."

Slovenian daily Dnevnik, Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter and Norwegian news website N24 also reported the story. Swedish Television also featured the findings.

Dnevnik Telegraph News of the World N24 Dagens Nyheter Swedish Television Open Europe press release

MEP Stephen Hughes

The following is from Open Europe's press report of today

Leading opponent of UK's 48-hour opt-out pockets thousands in MEP allowances

The News of the World reported that Labour MEP Stephen Hughes is claiming his full £42,000 office allowance this year, despite his office rent being just £1,642. He also pays his wife, a local Councillor, £40,000 to be his "chief of staff". The paper notes that he is not breaking any rules, as the EU permits members to claim the full amount even if they do not spend it. It also notes that "he could have raked in hundreds of thousands from the benefit over his 25-year MEP career." Stephen Hughes is leading the European Parliament's campaign to end the UK's opt-out from the 48-hour week.

16 March 2009

EU Commission in the Pink!

While Europe's citizen face hardship and unemployment in ever growing millions the fat cats of the EU fiddle with the rules on how to make Rosé wines , read here, from which comes this:

Rose's distinctive pink hue comes from a special technique. Red grape skins are crushed and left in contact with the macerating white juice for a few hours, long enough to gently tint the wine, then removed.

But the European Commission believes fiddly EU rules on how to make rose are holding French, Italian and Spanish producers back in new export markets, including China.

It has adopted a draft trade ruling, to be put to the vote by EU members next month, that would allow wine merchants to mix red with a splash of white, and bottle the result as rose -- heresy as far as France is concerned.

"Virtual Embezzlement"

The European parliament's 732 MEPs were yesterday accused of endorsing virtual embezzlement after throwing out proposals to control their allowances and pension pots.

The above was the opening to an article in The Guardian in April 2005, linked here, which I have chosen as the first of various items from this blog worthy of repetition as the European Parliament elections slated for next June get nearer and the election campaign hots up.

My blogs believe that as the economic crisis deepens it will become increasingly intolerable for this campaign which will result in the waste of billions more euros over the coming five years to go ahead.

This blog shows Members of the European Parliament for what they are.

The people of the former nation states of Europe should not be expected to allow them to gorge on the rotting corpses of the Continent's former Democracies for one more day beyond their present term of extortion.

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