Lemon trees that were never planted
THE European Commission's recently published 'Fight Against Fraud' report has admitted that fraudulent use of European Union funds is costing European taxpayers £3.3 million a day.
The worst cases were found in the implementation of the EU's cohesion policy which cost taxpayers £1.2billion in the last year.
The European Union's Cohesion Policy provides funding for Europe’s poorest regions and this takes up more than one third of the whole EU budget. So it's very depressing for those contributing that two-thirds of alleged EU fraud concerns six countries: Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Italy, Poland and Spain.
In one case, thousands of pounds was paid out to livestock owners in Slovenia for 'non-existent' cattle while claims were also made for a lemon and orange grove orchard that had never been planted on the Italian island of Sicily.
With such bad publicity arising from similar fraud stories it is not surprising that the European Union has increased the money it is spending on transforming its news broadcasting service Euronews.
It claims the service will "improve the daily life of EU citizens" but sceptics dismiss the ploy as just the EU pushing out propaganda trying to achieve favourable news coverage using taxpayers' money.