Politicians’ travel costs leap by 41 percent

Politicians' travel costs leap by 41 percent
Photo: DPA
German politicians have claimed almost €7 million in travel expenses from the taxpayer in the last two years - an increase of 41 percent. Destinations included Fiji, Tonga and Cuba.

Politicians took 1,169 trips in the two-year period from October 2011 to October 2013 at a cost of €6.88 million. The majority of the trips – 745 – were business trips taken by individual politicians, with travel to conferences and committee meetings making up the rest.

France was the most popular destination, with politicians taking 111 trips there. The United States (80) and Russia (55) also attracted frequent visits.

Others chose more exotic destinations like New Zealand, Tongo, Fiji, Australia and Samoa. Politicians took three trips to Cuba, according to the government report released every two years called "Report about the international activities and obligations of the German Bundestag".

Travel costs were up 41 percent on the previous two-year period when the last report was released.

Newspaper Bild described some of the reasons given for taking the trips as "unconsciously funny."

Christian Democrat politician Eduard Oswald travelled to Argentina and Uruguay in the summer of 2012 "for an exchange of opinion on bilateral issues." And in June of this year, he visited an astronomical observatory in Chile to converse with a German scientist.  

One delegation travelled to the Olympics in London to carry out "an open and critical discussion on the structure and optimization of sports promotion in the future" while another went to Brazil to discuss the country's preparations to host the World Cup in 2014.

READ MORE: German Parliament opens with record number of women

Member comments

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.