July 17, 2003


A widespread inquiry into secret bank accounts and fictitious contracts across the European Commission was launched on Wednesday, amid growing anger at the scale of alleged fraud in the European Union's executive.

The secret bank accounts at Eurostat were set up by Commission officials to hold money paid through inflated contracts to sub-contractors. Mr Kinnock told the parliament's budgetary control committee: "If they are discovered [elsewhere], for whatever reason and to whatever degree we will take appropriate action."

Mr Kinnock says he has no idea how much money has gone into them, or what happens to it.

Stay tuned.