Friday, March 8, 2013

EU subsidies - "Follow the money!"

Cecilia Malstrom, EU commissioner for Home Affairs, said that an estimated €120 billion is lost to corruption each year throughout the 27 member states. To quote:

“In public procurement, studies suggest that up to 20 to 25 percent of the public contracts’ value may be lost to corruption".

I can see where it would be difficult for the EU to control public procurement which countries do on their own. However, when the funding comes directly out of EU subsidies, the EU certainly has the right, responsibility and, in fact, the obligation to 'follow the money!' In fact, that should be a rather easy thing to do.

I have read innumerable stories about the misuse of EU subsidides in Greece. One of the classic's is where EU agricultural subsidies where used to buy Porsche Cayenne's. I remember a blogger's comment that the EU agricultural subsidies actually ruined the agricultural sector of Greece. One blogger even suggested that this was exactly the EU's intention when they showered subsidies on the Greek agricultural sector. Well, someone must have gotten a bit carried away here.

Nevertheless, the disbursement of EU subsidies is not confidential. In fact, there is a freely accessible EU data base which allows the interested party to see exactly who has received how much by way of EU subsidies and for what purpose.

With so many well-educated young Greeks without employment, why could they not be put to use to 'follow the money' on EU subsidies? It is known who received them and what they received them for. All that is required would be to interview the recipients and find out what they used the money for.

The potential savings (or rather: elimination of waste) should easily cover the paying of a decent wage to those young Greeks!

1 comment:

  1. sebastian_schroederMarch 15, 2013 at 7:46 AM

    Here is a link to a quite nice database (in Greek) that explains exactly where, to whom and for what purpose the EU money went. It can't get anymore transparent.