Friday, July 10, 2009

Lies, dammit lies, well maybe not

The European parliament has got itself into a tizzy about a story that made it into the News of the World last Sunday.

Somehow Parliament Bureau documents from June had made into the hands of the Screws and they documented quite how much money the new President of Parliament was to receive,

"THE next European Parliament president is set to get an EXTRA £113,016 to rent a home PLUS £43,704 for entertaining on TOP of the current £36,778-a-year living allowance."
So we made it clear that we didn't like it,

The leaked document, uncovered by the UK Independence Party, says the changes will put the president in the same pay bracket as the head of the European Commission, who is in charge of the EU's day-to-day running.

UKIP MEP Marta Andreasen said: "The political elite think these obscene sums should be thrown at their feet without any thought of the people that pay for their feather-bedded lifestyle - the taxpayers."

The response though seem a little confused, I will add it in full,

Parliamentary bosses have angrily hit out at a UK tabloid's claims that the next president is in line for a "massive" pay increase.

According to the News of the World newspaper, the president is set to gain an extra €130,000 per year to rent a home plus €49,000 for entertaining on top of the current €41,000 living allowance.

The planned €180,000 pay rise is detailed, said the paper, in "secret EU documents" and is designed to give the president "more dignity."

The pay rise, it says, would make his total yearly income about €247,000 and put the president in the same pay bracket as the president of the commission.

Former Polish PM Jerzy Buzek is next week expected to be approved as parliament's next president, taking over from German deputy Hans-Gert Pöttering.

However, a parliament spokeswoman said there was "no truth whatsoever" in the story.

She told this website, "We do not know where they have got these figures from and it is incorrect to say the president is in line for a 'massive' pay rise. The allegations are utterly unfounded.

"There was, some time back, a possible proposal tabled which may have led to changes in the president's financial arrangements but this is not going ahead now."

She added, "It is possible legal action could have been taken in relation to this story but we have looked at this in the past and I am afraid it is not a viable option."

Well the figures (10,990 euros pcm for housing and 4,250 pcm for entertainments) came from the Bureau "summary of decisions" document, item 6, dated June 2009, which are not yet available in the intranet of the Parliament. So yes she does know where they came from.

"Some time back", suggests years, not less than a month. I had breakfast "some time back", but I would be dissembling if I said that to a journalist.

"no truth whatsoever" she says, " The allegations are utterly unfounded" she says.

Liar I say.

If she is telling the truth why does she then admit that "There was... a possible proposal tabled which may have led to changes in the president's financial arrangements but this is not going ahead now", what since the publication of the article?

Shall we see how the final published minutes are massaged shall we, wonder if the recordings of the meeting have been changed too?

And if legal action was looked into - get real - why was it decided against, because the story was true?

It's shooting fish in a barrel.

I have just received an anonymous note corerdcting this piece.

"The paragraphe in the Bureau document presented the currant situation which has been the the case since 1991. The president gets every three months (trimenstrel) the per diem for every calander day, an allowance for housing and an allowance for entertainment. The 2009 figures are 298 euros for the per diem, 10,990 euros for housing and 4,250 euros for entertainments. Total = 90 days x 298 + 10990 + 4250 = 42000 euros. Or about 170,000 euros a year. So Poettering got about 400,000 during his two and a halve years as President.

the porte parole of the parliament is technically correct to say that it is untrue that increases are planned for the President. The new president will simply get what every president has got in the past. The Bureau document was about extending parts (but not all) of the president's package to vice-presidents and group presidents. This was rejected by the Bureau".
So I apologise for my inaccuracy, and I suppose we must be grateful for small mercies that they didn't extend the package. Astonishing that they considered it. But this confirms the great wodges of wonga dissapearing into the president's maw.


notareargunner said...

Good piece of journalism. Be careful the Screws are not listening to your calls and intercepting your emails. But there again you are not a corrupt politician - are you? Just a joke.

John Cooke said...

A good start by Marta and all of the rest of the team. Well done, and give em hell.

Gawain Towler said...

Wildly corrupt of course, why ever else would I have got involved?