"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Sunday, 14 February 2010

What Has Europe Done For Us?

German Foreign Minister calls for European army under the Lisbon Treaty. Germany's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has called for a "European army" saying: "The Lisbon Treaty opened a new chapter...Lisbon is not the end but, rather, the beginning. For instance, the Treaty outlines a common security and defence policy. The German Government wants to advance along this path. The long-term goal is the establishment of a European army under full parliamentary control." (German Foreign Office, Euractiv, Open Europe blog, 6 February) 

European Parliament refuses to name and shame MEPs forced to pay back €3m in allowances. The European Parliament has reclaimed almost €3 million from MEPs in wrongly-claimed allowances over the last three years, but has refused to identify the offenders and the amounts returned. MEPs were obliged to pay back £880,000 in 2007 and £1.6 million in 2008. Last year, 78 MEPs were asked to pay back £398,000 of public money, with one source indicating that "British colleagues contributed a substantial part of the reimbursement". (The Parliament, 4 February; Telegraph, 8 February)

MEPs to cost taxpayers an extra €13.3 million a year. The European Parliament's Budget Committee has now approved plans to hire 150 extra staff and boost MEPs' monthly allowances for assistants by €1,500. MEPs already had a generous budget of £360,000 a year in pay and allowances however the extra allowances will cost taxpayers a further €13.3 million a year, sending the European Parliament's total annual budget past the €1.6 billion mark. (Open Europe blog, 29 January; European Voice, 11 February)

EU farm subsidies at highest level for a decade. The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development has found that recent EU figures show a sharp increase in total levels of farm subsidies. Spending on subsidies stood at over €90 billion in 2006/2007, the highest level since the last decade, up from €75.6 billion in 2002, when support was at its lowest in the last fifteen years. (ICTSD)

European Commissioners spent €4 million on travel expenses, dinners and gifts last year, with Commission President Barroso having spent the most. (Telegraaf, 11 February)

EU directives may contribute to power blackouts and soaring energy bills. Energy regulator Ofgem has warned of power blackouts and spiralling consumer prices over the next decade. Chief Executive Alistair Buchanan said that the crisis had been compounded by an "unholy trinity" of factors - including the impact of the recession on energy industry investment, Britain's growing reliance on imported gas as North Sea supplies are depleted and the closure of nine ageing coal-fired and oil-fired power stations by 2015 in order to meet EU pollution laws, a move that will scrap almost a third of UK generating capacity. Ann Robinson, of the price comparison website uSwitch.com, has suggested that energy bills could reach around £5,000 by 2020. (Times, 4 February; FT, 3 February)
With thanks to Open Europe


  1. How are we gonig to pay for this with no work GV?

    So just like the Commie's starved the Kulaks, their progeny are going to freeze us.

    Same mob, same modus operandi.

  2. Hi Incoming, Europe-wide there'll be the elite, the government workers and then the rest of us at the bottom of the pile. The future doesn't look too rosy does it? Whichever way you look at it there'll be upheaval.

  3. Good roundup - I'll dip into this.


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