New York Times : “E.U. Cash Tunnel Ends in Slovakia”

An article in the New York Times this week says that Slovakia is guilty of tunnelling E.U. funds by spending the money intended for other projects fraudulently.

Stephen Castle of the NY Times reports that in 2007 a governmental department required the work of a consultancy firm. The advertisement for the contract however, was placed on a notice board of an official building, to which there was no public access. The 120million EUR tender was subsequently won by a ‘favoured’ company, writes Castle.

It seems as though the E.U. budget is clearly open to abuse, through a distinct lack of control on how the money is distributed. Whilst many countries are faced with the impending austerity measures, one scandal after another in Slovakia’s use of allocations is forcing

EU funds scams unwittingly

a serious rethink into how monetary aid is regulated.

The article mentions how  600 000 EUR intended for the education of a community of Roma was blown on two football teams, and how the previous government spent 1 million EUR teaching leadership skills in a cabbage-processing plant. Which isn’t really surprising when you consider how fundamentally important the humble cabbage is to Slovak life.

‘The scandals in Slovakia over the misuse of funds are just part of a much larger picture involving the European Union’s regional program’, writes Castle and with governments currently debating the set of guidelines for the budget concerning 2013-2020, cheating E.U. tax payers out of honest developments should hopefully become more difficult for scammers.

Source: New York Times


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