SLOVAKIA’s former representative to the European Commission and current transport minister, Ján Figeľ of the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), has been criticised by a member of his own party for accepting monthly payments from the EC.
Former commissioners are entitled to monthly payments ranging from 40 to 65 percent of a commissioner’s salary (around €20,000) for three years after leaving office. According to the Sme daily, only Austrian and Swedish commissioners have previously rejected these payments.
Sme reported that Figeľ’s monthly payment is about €10,000.
“One can always refuse, the question is what it serves for and how it is used,” Figeľ said, as quoted by Sme, adding that he is supporting needy families in Slovakia, Cuba and Albania.
Figeľ said the payments serve as compensation to former commissioners for not being able to accept certain posts where they could abuse the information they received when working for the EC.
Anna Záborská, a member of the European Parliament for the KDH, criticised Figeľ for accepting the payments and said that the money should be aimed at those who do not have a job after leaving their EC position.
Záborská also stated the monthly amount is too much. “European institutions that put pressure on the member states to cut expenses should provide an example,” she told Sme. Figeľ is also chairman of the KDH.
4. Oct 2010 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff