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by Fran on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 03:22:04 PM EST
Italian socialists suffer in polls - EUobserver
A new IPR poll in Italy shows that support is falling for the centre-left PD party in Italy, which fell from 33% last year to 22% today. The group currently sends 20 MEPs to Brussels, to the socialist and liberal groups. Support for the ruling centre-right PdL party is holding steady on around 36%.
by Fran on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 03:31:44 PM EST
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Romanian politicians and the attraction of the European Parliament (salary) - Kosmopolito

On June 7, Romanians will go to the polls to vote for the 33 MEPs who will be representing them in Brussels for the next five years. It is the first time when Romanian MEPs are elected for a full mandate, after Romania's accession in 2007. But the prospect of spending five years in Brussels, mingling with the European elite, is not the main attraction for Romanian politicians. Unlike the current MEPs, who get paid the same amount as the members of Parliament in their respective countries, the MEPs to be elected in June will all receive a basic monthly salary of around 7000 €. While that is not exactly good news for representatives of countries like Italy or Germany, for the Romanians this represents a huge increase from their current salary of around 1200 €.

Moreover, this seems to constitute the main reason behind the "war of candidates" that is taking place within the main Romanian parties. A good enough reason, it seems, to give up ambitions for a career at the national level and to stay away from the spicy, circus-like political arena in Bucharest for a while. Interesting to note that in the rush of signing up for candidacy, most of the politicians forget to consider, or completely ignore the final goal and what it entails: becoming a member of the European Parliament. There is no substantial debate, one can hardly hear about proposed programmes and ideas; the motivation seems to remain on a superficial level, of a rather material nature, and this is easily visible for an insider as well as an outside observer.

by Fran on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 03:36:18 PM EST
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