Saturday, November 13, 2010

Where our money goes

Whilst EU countries are desperately struggling to keep their heads above water, European Union spending carries on regardless. Here are just some of the mad projects that have been promoted with our money. 

1. In Hungary a canine project was funded by the EU's Rural Development Fund to develop a hydrotherapy system and centre to "improve dogs' wellbeing" in the Dregelypalank region.

Despite the fact that new offices built for the dog centre remained empty and overrun with weeds, the company behind the venture continued to receive EU funds for a different project.

2. Meanwhile in Austria, Tyrolean farmers pocketed £14,000 from the same EU fund to "increase farmers' emotional connection with the landscapes they cultivate".

The purpose of the scheme was to make the Austrian farmers "more aware of their emotional reactions to [the land] compared to their prevailing rational economic ones".

3. Four and a half  million pounds has been spent on extra limousines for MEPs when the European parliament is sitting in France. This comes on top of a permanent fleet maintained in Belgium and underlines the cost, of over £171 million a year, of having two seats for the EU assembly in Brussels and Strasbourg.

4. An EU officials-only cultural club was opened in Luxembourg at a cost of £4.4 million. Facilities for Eurocrats include an exclusive restaurant, Scottish Highland dancing and wine-tasting clubs.

5. And finally, Elton John was paid 600,000 euros to play a  concert in the Naples’s main piazza on Sept 11, 2009. Italian MEP have asked the European Commission to look into claims that at least some of the money came from European Union funds which were supposed to have been used to promote economic development in the region.

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