October 29, 2003


The European Commission was facing a crisis last night after its auditors found Brussels had failed to shut down a network of slush funds and that abuses had spread beyond a statistics office at the centre of the scandal.

MEPs called for the head of Pedro Solbes, the economics commissioner, after a final audit report leaked yesterday said missing records and the total breakdown of financial control at Eurostat, the statistics agency, made it impossible to know how much taxpayers’ money had vanished or what it was used for.

Investigators identified the loss of £3 million in “a vast enterprise of looting” by senior officials in Luxembourg, mostly through inflated contracts with outside firms.

Obviously, there should have been enough American troops to prevent the looting.

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