Wednesday, March 16, 2011

European Parliament caught with pants on fire

A couple of weeks ago the Sunday Express ran an article on the House of European History. In it they quoted the UKIP MEP Marta Andreasen
“Before the House of European History even starts operating European taxpayers will have to foot a bill of £51million just for its refurbishment.
I find no justification for such expense even if funded out of savings. History can be found in books and many museums around Europe cover the history of Europe.

“Such an expenditure in times of crisis will be judged as insulting by the citizens of Europe.”

She was the only MEP to vote last week against paying £2,1million to the architects creating a vision for the museum.

Parliamentary documents estimate the costs of buying the Eastman building, where the museum will be based, at £16million.

Renovating the art deco building and buying a collection for the permanent and first temporary exhibitions will cost another £47million.

That brings the total set-up costs for the museum, due to open in 2014, to more than £65million.

Estimated annual running costs are almost £7.7million, including £1million for 18 full time staff, £1.7million on swapping the temporary exhibition and £1.2million on running an internet site and staging events.
The European Parliament got very upset by thjis story, and went to AFP to put their side of the story, it wouldn't cost that much in running costs they said,
Les premières estimations du coût dépassent 70 millions d'euros avec et le coût d'exploitation annuel est estimé à 10 millions d'euros", a-t-elle soutenu.

Les chiffres avancés par Mme Andreasen sont "excessifs", ont expliqué à l'AFP les responsables de l'administration du Parlement.

Le coût total tourne autour de 53 millions d'euros, dont 31 pour la rénovation du bâtiment qui doit abriter ce lieu à Bruxelles. Quant à l'exploitation annuelle, elle devrait coûter entre 6 et 7 millions d'euros, ont-ils indiqué.
Or in other words Marta got her sums wrong, it wouldn't cost 10 million euros a year at all, far less, 6 or 7 tops.

You know what, they were right, Marta did get her estimates wrong, the House of History will not cost 10 million a year to run. No, according to figures just handed over to the Budgetary Control Committee, the annual running costs will be 13,45 million Euros.

The document is titled,



Bad Marta.
And here is the table showing annual running costs.

Now is anybody going to punish the EP functionary for lying to the press?

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