This is the defence from one of the leading EP Union officials, Mr Georges Marcopoulos, Chairman of the FFPE.
Dear colleagues,If you need to travel urgently then driving for 4 days doesn't seem to do it, and the flight price is £143 for a flight tomorrow, considerably less than the petrol.
My place of origin is the small but very beautiful island of Leros in the Dodecanese, in Greece which I warmly suggest you to visit. This island is at a distance of 3212 KM from Luxembourg.
When I take my annual leave in summer here is how I reach my island:
Monday I leave by car at 9.00 o'clock from Luxembourg to catch a ferry from Ancona or Venice to Patras on Tuesday afternoon.
My itinerary is the following:
Arriving at Strasbourg at 11.30.
Lunch from 12.00 to 14.00
Arriving at Basel at 16.00
Arriving at Lugano at 19.00
Dinner from 19.00 to 21.00 and
Spending the night in a hotel.
Departing at 9.00
Stopping at a petrol station for lunch..
Arriving at Ancona 15.00
Departing by ferry to Patras at 18.00
Wednesday at sea.
Arriving at Patras on Thursday morning at 7.00.
Driving to Piraeus. Arriving at 11.00
Having lunch from 11.00 to 13.00
Departing by ferry to Leros between 15.00 and 19.00 ;
Arriving at Leros between 2 and 6 o'clock of Friday.
Thus I need 4 days to arrive to my place of origin and another 4 to come back to Luxembourg which makes a total of 8 days. Instead I am credited with only 6 days.
Even colleagues who have Athens as their place of origin need 3.5 days to get there and 3.5 days to come back.
What Mrs GRAESSLEis simply INACCURATE. She tries to apply what Brits call "ONE SIZE FITS ALL".
Does she realize that we have to fly frequently back and forth to our place of origin because our family is still there, because our old parents need our presence and because of many other family reasons?
Does Mrs GRAESSLE know how much is the price of an airplane ticket in case one needs to fly urgently from Luxembourg to his place of origin?
If the scope of Mrs GRAESSLE is to man the EU Institutions solely by nationals of member states being in a close range of the EU institutions seats she has to put that publicly.