‘Ukraine referendum campaigners block funding information requests’

Photo: Europa.eu
Photo: Europa.eu

A number of groups which were given government cash to fund campaigns in April’s referendum on the EU treaty with Ukraine are trying to have the publication of parts of their applications stopped, the Telegraaf said.

The paper has used freedom of information legislation to win access to the documents but has been told several groups are going to court to prevent it being given the papers.

The referendum commission was heavily criticised for the way it handed out grants to groups and individuals without properly checking their proposals. In once instance, €50,000 was given to a private firm to print toilet paper with anti-Ukraine statements.

The publication had been due to take place on Friday, but that may be delayed, the Telegraaf said.

Last week it emerged that the Eurosceptic think tank IDDE, which is affiliated to British party Ukip, had been ordered to pay back subsidies wrongly paid to fight local political issues.

Those payments included €14,500 which went to the GeenPeil organisation to pay for an advert in the Telegraaf calling on people to sign the pro-referendum petition.

The advert was published just four days before the petition deadline.

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