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 Testo integrale 
Tuesday, 19 November 2013 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Location of the seats of the European Union's institutions (debate)

  John Stuart Agnew, on behalf of the EFD Group. – Mr President, as a farmer I seek practical solutions to problems. The EU’s wanton misuse of taxpayers’ money by financing the monthly trip to Strasbourg is a problem that requires a solution. This huge and costly building is used only for 48 days per year. It is symbolic of EU waste. If you believe in the wickedness of CO2 emissions, which most of you mistakenly do, then you should hate the Strasbourg circus for that reason.

So why not let out this building to two suitable tenants: the Committee of the Regions, and the European Economic and Social Committee? Everyone thus becomes a winner. The local economy here in Strasbourg benefits from the activity of 1 000 individuals permanently involved, plus occasional big plenary events. The French have the prestige of playing host to two EU institutions, as well as the Council of Europe. The British taxpayer, who disproportionately funds the current annual GBP 180 million wastage, gets some relief – although he would of course be better off out of it altogether.

I have listened to some of the MEPs here – yes, I do listen! – and you are all saying how important you are, and that you should be able to decide where you sit etc., but you are not important. This whole thing is devised so that you are simply a fig leaf of democracy. You cannot initiate legislation here. You have to bow and scrape in front of the Commission and the European Court of Justice. Until you can change that, nothing is going to happen.

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