Riot police clashed with demonstrators in the Belgian capital of Brussels on Thursday amid a massive protest against government plans to reform the country’s welfare system. This comes on the heels of violent French, Italian, and Spanish youth protests in recent weeks as the citizens of the non-Germanic European Union decry the 'austerity' they have been crushed by. What is odd, though, is externally, there has been 'no' austerity with debt loads rising for all these nations and debt/GDP at record highs for most. So where is the disconnect between a people under increasing financial pressure and a sovereign issuing more and more debt at will? The Telegraph has the stunning answer: an audit, published this morning, found that £109 billion out of a total of £117 billion spent by the EU in 2013 was "affected by material error”. Brussels accounts have not been given the all clear for 19 years running. In other words, Brussels 'embezzles' billions of euros per year, and blames it on austerity. Is it any wonder, Europe is burning?
This is what happens... More than 100,000 marched through Brussels today...
And it turned ugly...
When your leaders steal... (as The Telegraph reports)
According to the annual report of the European Court of Auditors, seen by The Telegraph, £5.5 billion of the EU budget last year was misspent because of controls on spending that were deemed to be only “partially effective” by experts.
The audit, published this morning, found that £109 billion out of a total of £117 billion spent by the EU in 2013 was "affected by material error”.
It means that the Brussels accounts have not been given the all clear for 19 years running.
Treasury sources said that the disclosure shows why the EU needs “urgent reform”.
“More can and should be done to ensure money is spent according to rules,” it said.
Among the examples of misspent money was funding used to buy helicopters to help Spain defend Europe’s borders against entry by illegal immigrants.
“[Auditors] examined a project in Spain which consisted of the purchase of four helicopters, to be used 75 per cent of their operating time for EU border surveillance and control. However, the ECA found the helicopters were only used 25 per cent of the time for this purpose,” said the report.
In another case, the commission handed out £1.4 million in funding for social development in Moldova “for which no underlying expenditure had been incurred”.
“Far too much of the EU budget continues to be spent on poor quality projects with poor oversight. This is not only wasteful but undermines consent for the whole EU project,” said Christopher Howarth, an analyst at the think-tank.
“The EU should radically reform its budget to focus only on those areas where the EU adds value.”
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The bottom line is that Europe's citizens are being cheated of the benefits of ultra-low interest rates repressed by the ECB that enables their inglorious leaders to issue debt at will and increase the nation's burdens, by a bureaucratic layer of embezzlement that has been going on - in size - for decades.