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Eurotrash - The latest from Brussels


Crisis. What crisis?

Lord Mandelson, the new UK Business Secretary, will get pay and pension worth £1 million from the EU. All former EU Commissioners can claim a “transition allowance” on leaving. Mandelson will be entitled to £78,000 – the difference between his EU £182,500 salary and his Cabinet pay of £104,000. It will be taxed at only 26 per cent under special “community rates” for EU officials.

Subsidy, anyone?

Scottish farms and sporting estates have taken vast sums under the EU Single Farm Payment scheme. The 100 largest claimants received an average £1 million each over the past three years.

Phantom attendance

More than 60 MEPs sign in for the monthly European Parliament session in Strasbourg on Fridays, although it does not meet that day. They claim 200 euros each time, a total cost of 820,000 euros since 2004.

Ministry of Truth

The European Parliament president, Hans-Gert Pöttering, has accused the Irish “No” campaign of being part of a US-backed conspiracy against the EU. And German Green MEP Daniel Cohn-Bendit said: “There is now a direct link between the Irish referendum, the US military and the Pentagon. I call on the authorities to probe the matter.”

Now Liberal-Democrat MEP Andrew Duff says that the Irish government should scrap Ireland’s ‘fair referendum’ rules, which let both sides have equal broadcasting time.

No, Denis

MP and former Europe Minister Denis MacShane has said that the claim that 80 per cent of all our laws come from Brussels is a “lie”. He said, “It really is not good enough to come to the House and quote anonymous Germans, whoever they may be, in defence of the preposterous position that 80% of all our laws come from the European Union.”

The truth is that there is nothing anonymous about it at all: the former German President Roman Herzog made the claim in the German paper Welt Am Sonntag on 14 February 2005.