Friday, August 02, 2002

EU Trials and Tribulations

The latest news from the EU doesn’t look good. If you thought Enron was bad, just head over to the European Commission accounting offices. Recent reports accuse the European Commission of cooking the books, covering up accounting irregularities and trying to silence the chief EU accountant, Marta Andreasen, when she attempted to present her findings to members of the European Parliament.

In fact, Andreasen was so concerned about the accounting system that she refused to sign the EU’s 2001 accounts. Unfortunately for Andreasen, this brought the wrath of the EC down on her head, resulting in her dismissal from the chief accounting post.

If this sounds like just another routine EU scandal, it’s worth noting that the Commissioner who stripped her of her post was none other than Neil Kinnock, one-time British Labour Party leader, and now the man responsible for reforming the European Commission. In fact, Kinnock was brought on specifically to improve transparency and bolster ethics following the debacle back in 1999 when the whole Commission resigned under charges of financial fraud.

I would point out, once again, that none of the people involved will ever face an electorate. Well, except for Neil Kinnock who did face the British electorate when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister, long before he was appointed to his current job. Funny, I don’t recall there ever being a Prime Minister Kinnock.

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