Europe's taxpayers were charged almost €4 million last year for travel expenses, official dinners and diplomatic gifts related to the European Commission. The commission president, Jose Manuel Barroso, accounted for over €700,000 of the bill.In a reaction Mr Barroso was unapologetic and even dismissive (NL):
The bulk of the expenditure (some €3.5 million) represents travel costs, while the remaining €355,338 were paid out in so-called representation costs - dinners and gifts given to other officials. (...)
Mr Barroso's 66 travel engagements last year amounted to a total of €697,773. The 10 trips outside the EU, such as the G20 summit in Pittsburgh or the EU-Russia summit in Khabarovsk, had an average cost of €21,898 each, while his intra-EU travels cost roughly three times less per outing.
"Mr Barroso travels a lot and the European Commission doesn't have an official plane, unlike governments," a spokesperson for the commission told this website.
If you look at what government leaders claim in expenses, these amounts are very modestAlmost three-quarters of a million (on top of a 350k yearly salary), that is only 'modest'. Never mind that it is tax money, OUR money he is spending bucket by bucket with reckless abandon. Can we leave now?
EU Commissioner Entitlements (pdf)
EU Code of Conduct for Commissioners (pdf)