Stephen Hill calls for the EU to face the same scrutiny as football’s troubled governing body
Sepp Blatter has presided over FIFA for seventeen years and we always suspected the organisation was corrupt from top to bottom, but now we are beginning to know how corrupt it was: it’s allegedly $150 million and counting…
FIFA, however, is just a dodgy sideshow compared to the EU. True, the dodgy sideshow needs purging, but the scale of its corruption is as nothing compared to the EU. FIFA requires no auditors as it is a not-for-profit organisation, but the EU has auditors who haven’t seen fit to sign off the EU’s accounts for seventeen years now. This means they don’t issue an audit report, so we are none the wiser about why they cannot sign the EU’s accounts. This is not open democracy.
Now the Greece’s EU creditors are demanding their money back. Georges Touzenis, a former Greek and French diplomat, writing in Visions of Europe II: Flinging down the English Gauntlet to the EU, points his finger at the enormous two-way corruption in Greece, where brown envelopes envelope the whole system.
But, what was more important, he alleges, is that the EU knowingly colluded in this corruption on a major scale, and made sure they did nothing about it; he mentions figures such as Karamanlis and D’Estaing when Greece was joining the EU.
The big villas in Athens and the rash of swimming-pools everywhere were mostly financed by EU money. The country was ripped off by the wealthy and others… and now the ordinary people must pay the bill.
It’s the same with the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy. Non-existent hectares of olive groves, tomatoes, melons and other underground assets right across Club Med are subsidised by EU money, and also non-existent cattle everywhere.
And on the introduction of the euro in 1999, the new currency flooded into the banks and ended up in an explosion of property developments and loans, from Ireland to Greece, which busted the eurozone banks everywhere when Global Crunch came along ten years later. Now the ECB has printed ’1.2 billion to save the banks in 2012 and is now printing another ’1.8 billion to prop up the same zombie banks.
Then the EU appointed Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the European Commission, but he has been arranging tax schemes for major multinationals all across Europe for two decades for the benefit of his native Luxembourg.
But the biggest and most unacceptable rip-off of all, tantamount to theft from the people, is that in the EU, which sees itself as a super-state above all the nation states it is seeking to replace, every commissioner, officer, bureaucrat and employee pays no national taxes at all on their generous salaries and pensions – unlike the people they purport to govern!
And not one of them even knows what the P11D end-of-year expenses form from the tax man looks like. P11Ds are for ‘little people’, not EU employees. So the Kinnocks, for example, trouser ’1,000,000 pa for overseeing the transport brief, virtually tax-free, and can look forward to generous pensions too, just for being UK appointees with no public accountability to anyone.
The EU is not fit for purpose in any democratic structure worthy of the name. It’s time the British media set about the EU as it has with FIFA, led by the Sunday Times’ investigations there, following the Daily Telegraph’s investigations here into MP’s expenses.
Stop being so parochial, UK media. Wake up, supposed guardians of our democracy, and realise what corruption is going on under your very own noses, right here in the EU.