Tomorrow Euro-MP's plan to waste £10 million

Tomorrow Euro-MP's plan to waste £10 million* of UK taxpayers money buying the Strasbourg Parliament buildings just as top EU official brands it "insane".

  • Conservative MEPs will oppose Parliament President Josep Borrell who tomorrow will seek to authorise the purchase of the Strasbourg parliamentary buildings for €136 million in defiance of Commissioner Wallstrom and nearly 1 million petitioners on www.oneseat.eu

Strasbourg, 5 September 2006: Conservative MEP's, intent on ending the wasteful Strasbourg 'circus', have today backed EU Commissioner Wallstrom against the European Parliament's likely decision tomorrow to buy the Parliament buildings from the City of Strasbourg.

Sir Robert Atkins MEP, Deputy- Leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament said:

"Labour is doing nothing as the European Parliament chief steamrollers through an expensive and controversial folly. The Strasbourg saga goes from the sublime to the ridiculous to the downright scandalous. Why is the European Parliament seriously considering spending £10 million of UK taxpayers money for a building no-one needs? Do we want the 700 new nurses or teachers £10 million will buy or a timeshare in a French white elephant?

"It is all very suspicious. Even the responsible Parliamentary committee** have said in a letter to Josep Borrell that they 'learned with surprise that Parliament continues to pursue the negotiation' and demanded transparency from him which they have not received.

"Together with EU Commissioner Wallstrom, other MEP's and the nearly 1 million EU citizens who have signed the www.oneseat.eu petition we believe that the Strasbourg site is a symbol of waste and inefficiency in a Europe that is crying out for reform. We will not stop in our resolve to stop Strasbourg.

"We have kept the UK Government fully informed throughout this saga but they have done absolutely nothing at any level."

1.* €80 million is held in escrow earmarked as a deposit for the Strasbourg buildings. This money must be spent by December 2006 or will be repaid to the member states. The UK's share is 17.5% (€14 million or £10 million).

** Working Group (Strasbourg Buildings) Committee of Budgetary Control

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