Marta Andreasen (photo), the courageous former chief accountant of the European Union, will not give up. In 2002 she was fired for refusing to sign off on the European Commission’s accounts. But she has continued to hold the EU politicians and eurocrats in Brussels to account, exposing fraud, waste and corruption on her web site, http://www.martaandreasen.com. In 2009 she was elected as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), an office she uses to shine the light of exposure on the dark dealings of the EU’s priviledged politicians and civil “servants.” In a January 26 article entitled “MEPs should hang heads in shame over ‘jollies,’” published by Public ServiceEurope, Ms. Andreasen exposed recent records of lavish spending by the eurocrats for foreign junkets.
“Members of the European Parliament are happy to preach austerity, but do not expect them to cut back on luxurious foreign trips,” she says. “The European Parliament's central office is notorious for being opaque when it comes to divulging costs for fear of bringing their Institution into disrepute,” notes Andreasen. “Whatever possessed them to become so forthcoming when asked what were the most expensive delegation trips for 2010, we will never know. Delegations, for those of you that do not know, are groups of MEPs that travel to various points around the globe under the auspices of building better relations with parliamentarians and other political organisations.”
“In reality,” reports Andreasen, “and barring a small number of MEPs genuinely committed to a region or country's wellbeing, they are treated as a jolly by all and sundry. Some MEPs switch delegations in order to see as much of the world as possible. Fancy an all-expenses trip to the Seychelles? Join the African-Caribbean-Pacific Delegation. Rio or Buenos Aires more up your street? That would be Eurolat then. I am told that there is, of course, some work involved — but usually no more than a day or two. The rest is made up of trips around the country, visiting points of 'political' interest.”
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