Democracy - EU style


The Telegraph reports that Marta Andreasen, the EU's former Chief Accountant and whistleblower, sacked by Neil Kinnock and now a UKIP MEP, was yesterday blocked by the centre-right and socialist MEPs from becoming vice-chairman of the European Parliament's budgetary committee. The European People's Party - which the UK Conservatives have now left - and the Socialists broke parliamentary convention on the allocation of committee posts by demanding a vote by secret ballot to block Mrs Andreasen, who was fired in 2004 after she publicly claimed there was a £172 million discrepancy between two sets of Brussels accounts. She claimed the accounting system was wide open to fraud and said: " I think the shop on the corner doesn't have this type of accounting system." Evidently the secret ballot was unprecedented.

Chris Davies, a Liberal Democrat, attacked the "shameful decision" to hold a secret ballot so the MEPs could not be "held accountable for their actions". He said: "The message it sends to the public is that anyone who speaks out against malpractice in Europe risks being excluded from office."

Ms Andreasen, who will still be a member of the Committee is quoted by PA saying: "What are they scared of? If they have nothing to hide then they would have supported my candidacy. This underhand and childish reaction just shows us how scared they are of the truth. I will not be going away. I intend to use my position to act as a particularly sharp thorn in the side of the EU accounts. It can be no surprise that the accounts are never signed off when they act like this".