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RTL: Wie EU Abgeordnete absahnen ( :: :: )

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Welcome to "Explosiv Weekend" and welcome to a delicate case of one of our reporters getting shown where the door is. It was actually about the "daily allowance" topic in the European Parliament. It is an open secret, that a couple of Members of the European Parlament (MEPs) are unlawfully filling their pockets with money. They arrive at 7 AM in the morning, wait to get enregistered, to secure the 284 Euros and disappear again. We wanted to know why this is so, and investigate the matter. Because a MEP, provided he is acting cleverly enough, can, all allowances added, earn nearly as much as our (German) Chancellor. Thomas Meier is going to report about representatives "on the run". You will see a scenario we would never have thought to be feasible. Our reporter is hoofed out by seven EP security agents, albeit accredited and obeying any code of conduct. This is what we'd like to call the "Strasbourg Éclat." Our reporter is getting hoofed out, whilst representatives turn tail and run once they've spotted our camera. And all that just because we wanted to check out whether some representatives are still filling their pockets with cash. Their salary is higher than any other politician's one. Members of the European Parliament (MEP). No matter whether they're there or not, they get a basic income of 7339 €.. And additionally to that, the representatives get a non-taxable expense compensation of 3980 €. And if that wasn't yet enough, they get 284 € per each session day in the EP. Considering an average of 12 sessions per month, this adds at least another 3408 € (net income). The bottom line is: 14 727 € per month. So in the end - an average MEP will have a higher net salary than the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. There is something wrong with those benefits, as well as in the overall responsability. There is a clear intention to get that concealed before voters, no one is hated any more than anyone who makes them put the cards on the table. But that's just what we did last morning. Because, for several years, it has been a known fact that representatives will let themselves enregister early Friday morning, to pocket another lump of allowance and then drive off. Speaking of which, at 6.45 in the morning, we can see this representative with his suitcase before the EP. Are you here just to reenregister yourself to take the money? That's not your business! Here upstairs, in front of the office where the representatives can add their names on the attendance list, you can see a whole queue of representatives who brought their suitcases with them. One of them, for example, is the Irish representative Kathy Sinnott. She even warns us that she will bring a charge against us depending on what about her will be aired later on. "Be careful in what you broadcast about me, I tell you! Because now, at 7 o'clock, I've already had a 7-hour shift! But the 284 € of allowance are not really meant to cover a night shift, are they? Dozens of representatives join in by adding their names to the attendance lists at 7 in the morning. Hey, it's 7 o'clock, so what are you doing here with your suitcase? Well, I have to work in my electoral district today. But that's not what the allowance is made for, is it? The other representatives apparently feel so uneasy about getting watched by us, that they prefer not to enregister themselves. No sooner had they stepped out of the elevator... "Were you on your way to enregister for the allowance?" ...that they run off on the double. Without saying a word, either. "Why are you running away? Are you feeling ashamed for wanting to enregister? This German representative we will introduce to you in a few moments. For a short time, that is. It's Hiltrud Breyer from the party "Die Grünen". Come on, come here, where's the problem? What's this about? This is downright impudent!! Why do you think it's impudent? Are you having a bad feeling about getting yourself enreg--- Why do you refuse to talk to us? You are a Member of the European Parliament. That really is the limit!! Let me go, will you! Hiltrud Breyer turns her face away from us and leaves the "allowance floor" by the stairway without having enregistered in the end. Good Morning Ms. Gebhardt, my name is Meier, from RTL TV. Yes? Why did you just enregister here? Because I'm working here today. Yes. But in fact, this money is actually only meant for days where there is some voting going on in the EP. Well, I'm working here in the EP, and I've still got many things to do. I had an additional overnight stay; plus, it's just another ordinary day; a representative's ordinary work day. See, it's not the only time that we work when we are voting in the parliament, but we've also got some preparation to do beforehand. But for that, you get a "very ordinary" salary, which, in fact, is not that bad at all. Eh no, well I do get my salary, that is true, but I'm here and it's legal to sign this list here and so I'm doing it. So the overall thought is that you try to pocket all you can get on your way - is it that? No, no, definitely not at all, no. Now come on, please! After we were able to watch representatives encash money for two hours, the EP's security guards suddenly show up. The men want us to stop filming the scenery. However, they allow us to film in the hallway area. Nevertheles, shortly afterwards the inconceivable happens: The EP's Secretary General himself orders us to leave the building at once. "I am allowed to film here!" "I'd like to talk to some press agent now." No, no, no. I strongly protest against you inhibiting a free journalist from doing his work here! And this is our reporter getting hoofed out from the EP office building. This demonstrates that when it's about money, representatives will wilfully do their "prioritising" in their very own fashion. Consequently, in such cases, even the freedom of press has to take a back seat. producedy by translate more

Video Details

Duration: 6 minutes and 9 seconds
Country: Belgium
Language: German
Views: 5,275,676
Posted by: on Aug 2, 2009

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