Brussels audit reveals EU officials are STILL on the gravy train

Brussels audit reveals EU officials are STILL on the gravy train

July 1, 2020

Champagne Eurocrats: Private jets, fine wine and ‘shooting range rental’ rack up eye-watering sums as Brussels audit reveals EU officials are STILL on the gravy train

  • Almost £400,000  was spent on private jets by Donald Tusk’s administration
  • Other eye-catching sums were  £90,000 on hiring ‘meeting rooms’ at a hotel
  • More than £100,000 was splashed on catering for a number of other events

Eurocrats were accused of ‘profligacy’ last night after spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on private jets, parties and topping up their wine cellars last year.

An audit of Brussels spending shows former EU Council chief Donald Tusk’s administration splashed nearly £400,000 on private jets in 2019.

The money went to Abelag Aviation, which boasts on its website of ‘beautifully appointed cabins with deluxe seating and Michelin star-quality meals matched to fine wines and champagne.’ Its flights cost up to £30,000 each.

Among other eye-catching sums was £90,000 on hiring ‘meeting rooms’ at the swanky five-star St Regis Astana hotel in Kazakhstan’s capital city.

Soaring costs: A fortune went on private jets. This image shows one of many jets available for hire. The Eurocrats splurged 400k on private jets with firm Abelag Aviation

Sources said the £90,000 contract with the hotel was so a meeting of EU ministers can take place in the margins of a World Trade Organisation summit. The summit has been postponed until 2021 due to Covid-19, meaning the £90,000 has not yet been spent.

The figures, released this week, also show £6,000 was splashed on the ‘services of a sports instructor’ and £15,500 on the ‘services of a physiotherapist’. Mr Tusk is renowned for his workouts but the EU Council declined to say if the sports trainers were for him.

More than £50,000 was splurged on the end-of-year party for EU Council staff. About 1,000 Eurocrats were given a choice of around 20 different starters and main courses at the all-night bash, along with bottomless Prosecco.

Other spending included a further £6,000 on champagne, £47,000 on ‘shooting range rental’, nearly £20,000 on ‘men’s dress shoes’, £17,000 on ‘tent rental’ for an event and £57,000 on flowers.

More than £100,000 was splashed on catering for a number of other events at the Residence Palace building, £17,000 on ‘medals’ for staff with 20 years’ service and more than £35,000 for ‘professional coffee machine supplies’. More than £1million went on the latest iPads and other gadgets. In total, more than £1.5million was spent with travel companies ‘relating to missions and authorised travel’.

Last year the Mail revealed how in 2018, Eurocrats at the EU Council splashed more than £100,000 on restocking their wine cellar with up to 4,000 bottles of champagne and more than £1.2million on private jets and limousines.

Pictured: Images taken from company website Paulus showing generic catering for company events. More than £50,000 was splurged on the end-of-year party for EU Council staff

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said: ‘If we needed another reason to justify our vote to leave the EU, it’s this profligacy of the EU elites who are still on their gravy train. No wonder the remaining EU27 countries are arguing over who’s going to pay for this profligacy.’

The UK continues to pay around £9billion in annual EU membership fees until January 2021 when the Brexit transition period expires and Britain finally leaves.

The spending relates to the EU Council only and not the EU Commission or EU Parliament. 

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