Time to fly off into a good, old-fashioned towering rage again. The Dutch broadcaster RTL News television filed a request for information on expenses by MEPs and members of the European Commission and published them on its website (NL). The Montesquieu Institute gives us the informtation in EN: President of the European Commission, Mr. Jose Manuel Barroso has claimed more than € 700,000 in expenses in 2009.
Europe’s taxpayers were charged almost €4 million last year for travel expenses, official dinners and diplomatic gifts related to the European Commission. The commission president, Jose Manuel Barroso, accounted for over €700,000 of the bill.
The bulk of the expenditure (some €3.5 million) represents travel costs, while the remaining €355,338 were paid out in so-called representation costs – dinners and gifts given to other officials. (…)
Mr Barroso’s 66 travel engagements last year amounted to a total of €697,773. The 10 trips outside the EU, such as the G20 summit in Pittsburgh or the EU-Russia summit in Khabarovsk, had an average cost of €21,898 each, while his intra-EU travels cost roughly three times less per outing.
“Mr Barroso travels a lot and the European Commission doesn’t have an official plane, unlike governments,” a spokesperson for the commission told this website.
In a reaction Mr Barroso was unapologetic and even dismissive (NL):
If you look at what government leaders claim in expenses, these amounts are very modest
Almost three-quarters of a million (on top of a 350k yearly salary), that is only ‘modest’. Never mind that it is tax money, OUR money he is spending bucket by bucket with reckless abandon. Can we leave now?