Anti-fraud European MP stands down

Dutch member of the European parliament Paul van Buitenen will stand down at the next European elections in June because of the EU body’s reluctance to seriously tackle fraud.

He told tv programme Reporter on Sunday that he was ‘very disappointed’ that no action had been taken on the cases of fraud he had brought to light.
Van Buitenen was an EU civil servant when in 1999 he blew the whistle on fraud and irregularities within the EU commission. The commission subsequently resigned en masse.
He became a Euro MP in 2004 with his party Europa Transparant and continued his campaign to have the EU cleaned up. He told tv programme Buitenhof in 2004 that his whistleblowing had made him ‘a pariah’ and his computer had been searched.
Last March, Van Buitenen published a short summary of a major report into European MP’s salary and expense abuses, which the parliament itself voted to keep secret.
A British campaign group published the full report this weekend, reports the BBC. It reveals that European MPs can earn up €1m during their five-year term from making savings on their expenses and pension benefits.

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