April 13, 2009
Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen considers that late payments by public authorities are “intolerable” and lead to SMEs going bankrupt. How right he is. However, the Commission is one of the worst offenders, with its cumbersome and arcane rules.
The European Ombudsman has opened a new investigation into the timeliness of payments by the Commission. This follows complaints received from companies, associations, NGOs, universities and other organizations. The Ombudsman concluded in July 2008 that in 2007, more than 22 % of all payments made by the Commission involved delays.
From June, MEPs will be entitled to claim expenses for business class plane fares, even short-haul flights. A leader in Die Welt argues that this new, open invitation to fly business class,
“is unacceptable, at a time when many Europeans are fearing for their jobs and are having to tighten their belts. Instead of showing off, MEPs would do better to show some solidarity.”Author : Stanley Crossick