Stat of the day: £6.6m

The amount European Commissioners spent on private jet travel over the course of four years.

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
While the rest of us are facing budget cuts and pay squeezes, it seems European Commissioners don’t have the same problems. 

Research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism shows commissioners clocked up £6.6m on private jet travel in the four years to the end of 2010, and spent millions on lavish gifts and parties. One cocktail party in Amsterdam, described (rather nauseatingly) as ‘a night filled with wonder like no other,’ cost a cool €75,000, while guest speakers at events were presented with Tiffany jewellery, cufflinks and fountain pens. Trips abroad were also commonplace: a delegation of 44 staff was once flown to a five-star resort in Vietnam for a trip intended to ‘facilitate internal cooperation.’

A Commission spokesperson last night said the figures were taken out of context and misinterpreted, but as the EU has been pushing for a budget increase of €6.2bn since April, this latest revelation is sure to disgruntle some Euro-sceptics.

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