Counting the cost of complaining

Series Title
Series Details 12/04/01, Volume 7, Number 15
Publication Date 12/04/2001
Content Type

Date: 12/04/01

When the European Parliament signed off the Union's accounts for 1999, to the relief of the Commission, not all MEPs were in agreement.

In a pre-vote oratory last week British Conservative Chris Heaton-Harris argued that the discharge should not be granted, pointing out that in 1999 there had been a 5&percent; error rate. This, he said, means that €4.5 billion of EU taxpayers' cash has not been properly accounted for.

Other MEPs were more sympathetic towards the Commission, aware that Prodi's lot are not the only ones who make mistakes. Dutch Socialist MEP Michiel van Hulten quipped: “I detected a 50&percent; error rate in Mr Heaton-Harris' speech.”

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