La Treizième Étoile: 11/07/10 - 18/07/10 Blog Archives
News from the European Union with a focus on the South West UK and Gibraltar region and its MEPs
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How many EU officials earn more than the PM David Cameron?

Thursday, 15 July 2010
David Cameron (Photo: The Times)Answer: “more than 300” according to Lord Howell of Guildford, the Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

As previously revealed, the Prime Minister David Cameron, left, receives an annual salary of £142,500, which roughly equates to €170,000 at current exchange rates.

Answering a written question from Lord Stoddart of Swindon, Lord Howell revealed that all 27 European Commissioners of the Barroso II earn in excess of this amount as well as EU civil servants in grades AD16 and AD15 (director-general level).

We do not have access to the salary details of individual EU officials. We do have access to salary scales and the approximate number of officials in each grade … There are some 300 staff in these grades,he said.

Naturally, the Conservative Lord then used this statement to attack spending on the EU, writing: “at a time when Governments across the EU are reining in their spending, it is only right that the EU institutions think carefully about every euro that they spend to ensure that they get the most from their money.

We are currently pushing for a freeze in the 2011 budget and expect salary levels to reflect the current economic conditions.

But before the comments flood in that they are being paid too much, do note that there are lots of others in this country who earn more than the PM, perhaps similarly ‘unjustly’ – for example, NHS executives, some 170 UK civil servants, a primary school headmaster and even the headmaster of my former ‘cash-strapped’ Secondary School…

Tony Blair and 'many in the Cabinet' wanted to join Euro - Ed Balls

Tuesday, 13 July 2010
Labour leadership candidate and chief economiser advisor on the right-hand of Gordon Brown whilst he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, Ed Balls made an interesting appearance on the BBC4’s Today Programme this morning.

Ed Balls and Gordon Brown (Photo: GEOFF PUGH/Telegraph)Mr Balls, pictured above left alongside Mr Brown, was a key figure in the formation of the Five Economics Tests that were designed to “determine when the UK was fit to join the Euro single currency” yet never be decided as met for political reasons, and spoke about the Labour Party’s period in Government, and in particular the division within the Cabinet towards adopting the single currency:

"There were times we had to make big decisions, and I'll give you one example - the issue of joining the single currency. Tony Blair wanted to join the single currency, so did many in the Cabinet.

I personally thought that would have been a profound mistake for Britain, for our country - I made that argument very hard, as did Gordon Brown. I think we look back now, and say that we were right not to join the single currency".

Did Mandelson court Sarkozy over High Representative job?

Sunday, 11 July 2010
Lord MandelsonEven though on holiday I was still unable to avoid disheartening glances at the British tabloids, and while on the journey across the English Channel a certain story caught my eye and it featured a certain former EU Trade Commissioner and now Lord, Peter Mandelson.

Describing him as a ‘True Rat’, I wondered what on it was he had done now – but it was safe to say I hadn’t expected what it read – apparently he was so desperate to “desert Gordon Brown's dying Government that he BEGGED President Sarkozy to get him a top EU job.”

He had apparently rung the Elysée Palace to “beg” French President Nicolas Sarkozy to back him as Europe's first High Representative for Foreign Affairs, but was rejected and of course the job went to another British Labour peer Baroness Ashton.

The Sun quotes a senior Labour source remarking that the “level of hypocrisy is simply staggering” and that “Peter was publicly defending the Government but behind the scenes desperate to get out of Westminster. A rat trying to desert a sinking ship.

Of course this does not come as a surprise to me at all because of his past record, but begging Sarkozy to land this job seemingly behind Brown (then the PM)’s back? Seems an incredible move especially when you remember the two had a very public feud when Mr Sarkozy blamed Mandelson for the Irish "no" vote on the European constitution in July 2008. But then again his spokesman said "all will be revealed" in his new book published this week

Last election:

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