Tuesday

9th Aug 2022

New group to investigate Strasbourg rent scandal

The European Parliament announced on Friday that it has set up a working group to investigate allegations that the city of Strasbourg charged too much rent for the parliament buildings.

The informal group of ten MEPs will report its findings to the parliament's budgetary control committee.

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Work is to begin immediately and is expected to be concluded by July, so there is enough time for a decision on whether or not to present a new budget discharge proposal to the plenary in October.

MEPs last week voted not to sign off the EU assembly's 2004 accounts to give them time to look into the allegations.

Speaking about the setting up of the working group, its rapporteur German centre right MEP Markus Ferber said "It is now time that all the facts are laid on the table."

"We hope that the different actors involved in the issue will duly cooperate and provide us with the hard facts," said Maltese conservative MEP Simon Busutill, another member of the new committee.

British MEP Jeffrey Titford from the Independence/Democracy group said "this could potentially be one of the worst examples of euro corruption yet seen,"

The working group is expected to meet the mayor of Strasbourg, Fabienne Keller.

Ms Keller has already denied the rent allegation remarking that the city of Strasbourg had charged the parliament according to "market prices".

The allegations of inflated rent sums came to a head two weeks ago when it emerged that Strasbourg city may have overcharged for rent to the tune of €2.7 million a year for the last 25 years.

The working group will be composed of ten MEPs, eight from the different political groups, a chairman and the rapporteur.

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