Letter: MEPs didn't ask for new 'palace'

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The Independent Online
Sir: Sarah Helm's article about MEPs was welcome, if only to show that the waste of building two new parliaments was not the fault of the MEPs ("What could this building in Strasbourg be? Another pleasure palace for our MEPs", 19 March).

In fact the European Parliament has never said it wanted the new Strasbourg building.

Some of us succeeded in getting the Court of Auditors to rule that the contract should never have been signed. Yet the silence of the member states on this issue is deafening.

The cost of this three-ring circus (Brussels, Luxembourg, Strasbourg) is about pounds 125m per year. By meeting solely in Brussels, the new building there could soon be paid for by the savings made from the monthly trek to Strasbourg.

If the parliament can see this, why don't the member states? Sarah Helm gave the answer.


(Merseyside East & Wigan, Lab)

St Helens, Merseyside