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CSU calls for end to European Union perks

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CSU calls for end to European Union perks
The European Union parliament in action. Photo: DPA
08:36 CET+01:00
Bavaria's conservatives, the Christian Social Union, announced on Tuesday a push to end the perks given to European Union officials, arguing they are no longer needed to attract workers.

Markus Ferber, the party's leader in the European Union (EU) parliament, told daily Die Welt that he would call for a “radical overhaul” to the pay and privileges given to some 50,000 EU officials during an upcoming party meeting in the Bavarian town of Wildbad Kreuth.

“The privileges of EU officials must be abolished as quickly as possible,” he said.

There was no difficulty recruiting EU officials, making the high salaries and perks redundant, especially in an era of fiscal belt-tightening, he said.

“That's why it's no longer necessary to lure people with luxurious privileges such as high, tax-free extra incomes, automatic pay rises and generous special holidays,” Ferber said.

“We will during the meeting in Wildbad Kreuth call for a radical overhaul of EU officials' privileges and I will bring a corresponding initiative up at the European level.''

Only in December, the EU Council of Ministers agreed to award a retrospective pay rise of 3.7 percent for 2009 – a hike it had previously blocked. Representatives from the national governments were instead awarded only half of the rise, 1.85 percent, in December 2009, even though the method for calculating the change in officials' pay was set down in a legally binding agreement between the EU institutions.

On 24 November, the European Court of Justice ruled that the Council had broken EU law by refusing to award the full increase.

On top of that, the council decided to raise officials' pay by 0.1 percent for the period from July 2009 to June 2010.

The Local/djw

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