Saturday, 25 February 2017

European Parliament: Questions raised over Martin Schulz's spending

Questions have been raised over spending by former European Parliament head Martin Schulz, who is challenging Angela Merkel in Germany's election.

According to documents seen by the BBC, the parliament's Budgetary Control Committee is querying allowances granted to his adviser, Markus Engels.

Mr Engels was apparently allowed to claim residence in Brussels while living in Berlin in 2012.

There was no immediate comment when the BBC approached Mr Schulz's SPD party.

However, the party was quoted by Germany's Spiegel magazine (in English) and Stern magazine (in German) as saying travel arrangements like those for Mr Engels were "normal practice" in Brussels.
The independent EU anti-fraud office Olaf - the same body which investigated French far-right leader Marine Le Pen's expenses - has told the BBC it is looking at media reports about the conditions of employment of "certain... European Parliament staff members", without naming them.

It said it would analyse these reports to see if it was within its competence to act upon them and to judge whether there was "sufficient suspicion of fraud, corruption or any illegal activity affecting the EU's financial interests" for Olaf to open a case.

Only when they had been analysed would Olaf decide whether or not to open an investigation, it added.

BBC     News.