EU elections: Kroes criticises cost debate

Some of the parties competing in next month’s European elections are exaggerating the cost of the EU and its civil service numbers, EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes said at the weekend.

Kroes was speaking during a debate on Europe organised by the AD newspaper with a number of party leaders.
The EU does not have more civil servants than a medium-sized Dutch town, the paper reported Kroes as saying. And membership of the EU generates €518 for every man, woman and child in the country, Kroes said.
Kroes’ comments follow statements by a number of more euro-sceptical parties during the debate. Dennis de Jong, leading the Socialist Party campaign, said Brussels has 170,000 civil servants.
And Barry Madlener, who heads the anti-Islam PVV’s campaign, said Brussels costs €1,100 per head of the Dutch population.
News agency ANP says D66 and Groenlinks emerged as the most pro-European parties. The PVV and SP lead the critics.

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