European Parliament

Lazy MEPs unmasked

Published on 9 March 2011 at 10:45

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“Take the money and run”: El Mundoborrows the title of a celebrated film by Woody Allen to denounce the “subterfuges” of MEPs who show up in parliament on Friday morning to pocket the daily allowance of 304 euros and then immediately leave for a weekend at home. The practice is commonplace for about sixty MEPs (out of 726), the majority of whom “are from France and eastern Europe,” notes the Madrid daily. The scheme has been exposed by the independent British MEP Nikki Sinclaire, who took photos of his colleagues in parliament and at several train stations and airports in Europe and had them published in the British weekly News of the World. “The European Parliament, however, refuses to review its policies,” adds *El Mundo*. A spokesman for the Assembly asserts that this practice “conforms wholly to the rules” and that “only political parties can encourage their members not to tick off the days when they do no work.”

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