Apr 282015
 April 28, 2015  Posted by at 5:03 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Harris&Ewing Ford Motor Co. New medical center parking garage, Washington, DC 1938

Dutch daily Algemeen Dagblad ran a little article recently that we’re surprised no other news organization picked up. It concerned a proposal in the European Parliament in which the parliamentarians got to vote on raising their own paycheck (always a good idea). The best thing about the story is that not everyone voted in favor.

Most did though. It much amused me to see that apparently it was Angela Merkel’s party, the German Christian Democrats, which was behind the proposal. Initially, they had even wanted double what they actually got. Here’s some numbers and details – and please forgive me for not being a math wizard -.

A Member of the European Parliament (MEP), according to the article, receives the following for their valiant and entirely selfless efforts at public service:

• Salary: €8000+
• Expenses: €4300
• A per diem allowance of €300 for every day a meeting is attended.

Per year that adds up to: €147.600 + €30,000 if 100 meetings are attended. Let’s say €180,000.

On top of that, the Parliament pays into MEPs pension funds, but we’ll leave that alone for now.

There are 751 MEPs, so total ‘salary’ costs are €135,180,000. But that’s just the start.

And we’re not yet adding translation costs, which apparently can add up to over €120,000 per day (!), or perhaps some €30-40 million per year.

Nor are we taking into account the estimated at least €200 million per year it takes to have the entire Parliament (MEPs, assistants, translators, employees, in total about 4000 people) move between Brussels and Strasbourg every month, an oddity that springs from a drawn-out power poker play between Germany and France. Do note: the constant move costs way more than all 751 MEP’s base salary + expenses.

No, the proposal discussed, concerns the added expense accounts MEPs receive for their assistants. At present, the amount involved is over €21,000 per month, and according to the people who receive it – and vote on raising it -, that’s not enough.

Typically, says the Dutch paper, an MEP has 3 assistants, all of whom get paid €2500 a month. They’re also in a special low Brussels income tax bracket. This means each MEP receives €252.000 per year in ‘assistant costs’, and spends €90,000 in salary costs, leaving €162,000 for food and lodging. Since there are 751 MEPs, the total adds up to €15,771,000 per month or €189,252,000 per year.

And they want more.

The original proposal called for another €3000 per month. Because some MEPs protested against this, it was reduced to €1500. Or €18,000 per year per MEP, times 751, a cool €13,518,000. Just in extra costs they voted in all by themselves.

There are many many stories about people living the high life once they get voted into the Brussels/Strasbourg traveling circus. The majority have lucrative jobs at home. They stay in swanky hotels. They collect per diems for meetings they don’t actually attend. They lay the basis for lucrative corporate careers after they exit the Parliament. It’s democracy in theory but not in practice.

Brussels/Strasbourg is no stranger to corruption, or whatever word you would want to to use to describe what goes on. Still, there are lots of MEPs who are completely on the up and up, and many who even pay back a lot of their ‘compensation’ into either the Parliament itself or into their own – national – part coffers, because they say the payments are exorbitant. But they don’t speak up. At least not outside of the confines of the Parliament itself.

But these are also – all of them put together – the people who uphold the EU policies versus Greece, where there are really many children who are hungry, and seniors who can’t get proper health care. Faced with a situation like that, one would think a proper parliament of a proper union wouldn’t dare raise its own expenses – which have to be paid by member countries’ taxpayers – before and until all children in the union are properly fed, and all grandmas properly taken care off by qualified medical personnel.

One would think. These are also the people responsible for the EU support that allows the Kiev army’s mass killings of its own people. And for the continuation of the anti-Russia and anti-Putin stance that’s become so popular across the western world. They may not be the daily executives of the circus, but they still are the responsible at the end of the day.

They are also the people who voted to cut down the budget for the Mediterranean refugee patrol missions, money saved that, if you want to take a cynical enough view, was freed to raise their own stipends. As thousands drown.

And so again we would like to raise that question: why would anyone, any country, want to have these people take their decisions for them? What would make you think when you live in Greece that these traveling circus clowns would be better at protecting and defending your interests than your own people, who live where you live, who see what you see on a daily basis?

It’s fine, and it’s perhaps even logical, at first glance, for Greeks and Italians to want to remain part of the euro. But when you look closer, you can’t avoid the notion that by being part of the euro, you give up the autonomy you also crave. And that the price you pay for being a part of the euro, and of the EU, makes you a serf to greater and richer interests that care about you about as much as they care about flies on their walls.

This one story about what MEPs vote themselves is but one example. Why not send us an example of where and how you feel Brussels protects your interests better than your own governments? We’re really curious to know. Because we don’t see it.

Home Forums What Makes Brussels More Equal Than Others

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    Harris&Ewing Ford Motor Co. New medical center parking garage, Washington, DC 1938 Dutch daily Algemeen Dagblad ran a little article recently that we’
    [See the full post at: What Makes Brussels More Equal Than Others]

    Ken Barrows

    Oh, it’s logical for Greece to remain in the Euro if its citizens wants to drive en masse. If Greece doesn’t have a goal to simplify its lifestyle, it’s just pi**ing in the wind.


    A couple of small comments to your post – just to get the details right:
    1) It is impossible to give an exact figure (such as the €2500 you mention) for what the assistant of an MEP makes, since this depends on a number of factors (such as which country they are employed in).
    2) The budget for assistance that an MEP has available, has to cover both employees in the European Parliament (so-called Accredited Parliamentary Assistants(also called APAs)), employees in their home country (also known as Local Assistants), as well as any interns (something many MEPs make use of).
    3) The pay budget also has to cover travels for staff, both to Strasbourg and between the home country and Brussels when needed. For information it cost about €800 per time an APA (or intern) goes to Strasbourg.
    4) Unlike the APAs, locally employed assistants have to pay taxes and social contributions where applicable.
    5) Some MEPs have more than 10 locally employed Assistants
    6) If MEPs do not use the budget for salaries completely they do NOT gain access to the unspent money
    7) APAs make between €1,694.21 (grade 1) and €7,802.33 (grade 19) every month – depending on what they negotiate with their boss. If you want to know more about what APAs make you can read a couple of our blog posts from last year: https://www.euraffex.eu/what-do-assistants-in-the-european-parliament-actually-make/ and https://www.euraffex.eu/what-do-assistants-really-earn-part-ii/


    You’re not telling us much of anything, Eurrafex (I’m having to guess you’re a paid employee of Eurrafex, which makes their money off if European Affairs Expertise). The relevant info I think would be how much the lowest spender spends vs the biggest spender. And then look at why that is so.

    But yeah, I’m biased, and I make no secret of that. What’s happening in Greece and Ukraine and the refugee crisis merely confirms to me yet again that Europe in its present shape and form is a morally bankrupt entity. And I don’t thnk that you guys see it that way, it’s your meal ticket after all.

    Dr. Diablo

    Actually, the point may not be the absolute salary of individual MPs but the mind-bending bureaucratic cost of the EU. Remember, the cost of the EU is still ON TOP of the cost of the national governments, which is in addition to your local governments. Adding another whole layer of government is expensive, and the EU is demonstrably not concerned with the cost.

    All these expenses are paid by someone. And that someone is the people. Since Corporations and billionaires can recoup their costs with lobbying, the entire cost of government lies exclusively on the people. Generally, the poorest people, least able to defend themselves from predation. In the poorest countries, likewise least able to defend themselves.

    So whether ministers are collecting E200,000 and 5-star hotels for work they never did (which many expose’s and their expense accounts prove) or whether they make E20,000/worker, the EU edifice (which is NOT EVEN A DEMOCRACY in that bureaucrats have NO obligation to obey the EU parliament) all those costs for sham, show, phony ministers comes directly from the people starving in Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Whatever their intent, their budget is directly removing aid for refugees, so people are evicted, killed, and dispersed while they eat E500 dinners and take the week off back home for more E500 dinners with lobbyists.

    You can’t reasonably argue this isn’t happening. We have the expense reports, we have the logs of meetings they do and don’t attend, and we have the news reports of what the EU costs continent wide vs the news of national hardships.

    If parliament is irrelevant anyway, shouldn’t we just take their paychecks and use them to help the citizens? We can just declare Barrosso Chancellor to the King and go home. I mean, the illusion seems to be unnecessarily expensive. Does anyone still believe it?

    Diogenes Shrugged

    When you allow, and even encourage parasitic narcissists and criminal psychopaths to build colossal empires with stolen money, it should come as no surprise if they begin to see you as competition when the money runs out. So they squeeze out every drop of blood they can before casting your empty husk to the wind.

    In nature, parasites tend to prey on other species, so perhaps our parasitic politicians and elites would be more accurately called “cannibals.” But hey, the media love them dearly, so let’s call them “celebrity cannibals.”

    They’ve made no secret of the fact that radical, worldwide depopulation is their ultimate stepping stone to total planetary control (i.e. “globalism” or “NWO”). Not that burgeoning human populations aren’t a tragedy, especially for all the other species we live in such extreme disharmony with. But most of us weren’t consulted when the elites drew up their plans establishing who would survive their proposed die-offs.

    Which raises the question of who will prevail, the parasites or the hosts?

    Either way, the status quo will rapidly reestablish itself. From that most libertarian of documents, the Declaration of Independence: “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed …” At least, right up to the point that that consent no longer appears necessary. So you see, as long as anarchism is frowned upon, and as long as some people adopt THEFT as their business model, the cannibals will always have an elevated niche to occupy in the human biome.

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