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AFP: EU defends three-year golden parachute

The European Commission on Monday defended its golden parachute system for former commissioners, under which they can get up to 65 percent of their salary for three years after leaving their post.

The European Commission "applies the rules which have been agreed by the EU member states," said commission spokeswoman Valerie Rampi.

The system is similar to those used in other international organisations, she added.
The system has come under fire in the media and from organisations such as the British eurosceptic Open Europe think-tank.

Open Europe has voiced outrage that former EU commissioners Peter Mandelson and Franco Frattini would continue to receive sizeable monthly sums even though they went straight into national government cabinet posts after quitting.

"Taxpayers around Europe, whose pensions have been swallowed up in the recession, will rightly question why they are footing such an enormous bill for a handful of remote officials who they never voted for in the first place," Open Europe analyst Sarah Gaskell said.

"It is a topsy-turvy world when an unelected EU official is earning the same wage as the democratically elected president of the United States."

by Magnifico on Tue Mar 31st, 2009 at 12:12:46 AM EST
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