Angela Merkel says EU budget delay is a ‘serious problem’
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Analysis by the German press agency DPA revealed that Berlin pumped in £16.4billion to Brussels’ coffers last year. In comparison, France paid just £8billion and Italy only £5.3billion. This has prompted suggestions that Germany, the EU’s largest economy, is helping to fund billions of euros that are regularly misused by the bloc’s more unruly members.
Poland was said to be the largest net recipient, receiving £10.5billion from the EU’s budget than it paid in.
Hungary also massively benefited from the large flows of funds dished out by Brussels.
This was all while both Warsaw and Budapest were accused of being in breach of the bloc’s rules.
Even pro-Brussels politicians in Germany were outraged with the volume of cash being handed over to the alleged rogue states.
Daniel Freund, an MEP for the Greens, said: “If we want to prevent Hungary and Poland from developing further into autocracies, the EU Commission must immediately stop the payment of EU money to Warsaw and Budapest.”
EU Parliament vice-president Katarina Barley has also made a similar call for funding to Hungary and Poland to be blocked.
The German MEP, a member of the Social Democratic Party, said: “The European Commission should act immediately and block EU funds, especially in Hungary, but also in Poland.
“In both of these countries, we are dealing with deficits in terms of adherence to democratic principles.
“The situation is getting worse, both in Hungary and Poland.”
Eurosceptic politicians from the Alternative for Germany, which supports leaving the bloc if certain reforms are not made, were also vocal with their frustrations.
German MEP Nicolaus Fest said: “It is scandalous that once again Germany continues to pay substantially more into the EU budget than all other member states.
“Hardworking Germans deserve better than to have their money used to prop up weak and failing EU economies. Our money should be spent on national priorities, not bailing out the rest of Europe.”
His AfD colleague Gunnar Beck added: “Germany has become the paymaster and social security office of the EU.
“In return the German government is now trying to impose a new catechism of political correctness on others.
“None of this is sustainable. Germany neither has the financial prowess nor the moral authority to recreate Europe in its own deeply traumatised and self-flagellating image.
“No one wants a self-hating larger European Germany, except the German government. We need a great reset not for our economies but for the EU.
“Quicker the German people stop funding this EU racket the better.”
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The EU’s purse strings are controlled by the European Commission.
Eurocrats are also in control of the bloc’s so-called rule of law mechanism that is designed to stop funds being claimed by persistent rule-breakers.
The EU’s Brussels-based executive refused to publish an exact balance sheet because of fears it could be used politically.
But Commission officials argue the EU budget is only a fraction of the size compared to national spending schemes and the benefits of EU membership cannot be derived from budget figures alone.
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Berlin agrees with this sentiment and praises the EU system as a positive for Germany.
“No other European economy benefits as much from the EU internal market as the German one,” according to a federal government website.
Britain has been able to stop its vast payments to Brussels by leaving the EU.
The Vote Leave group made the huge flow of cash between London and the Belgian capital its main issue during the referendum campaign.
And Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivered on the promise by cutting the huge annual payments, which was £15.8billion in the country’s final year of membership.
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg
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