In the ongoing contest to see which group of politicians can squander money in the most obscene fashion, it appears that the bureaucrats at the European Commission in Brussels might be surpassing their counterparts in Washington. Here’s a story from the UK’s Daily Telegraph, reporting that the European Commission is subsidizing a ski trip for the children of European politicians, and that the subsidies even go to households with income equivalent to about $175,000:
Taxpayers will heavily subsidise a skiing holiday in the Italian Alps for the children of MEPs and European Parliament officials in February. …The eight-day skiing trip for 80 children aged between eight and 17 is timed to begin over the weekend of St Valentine’s Day, providing some romantic time off from parenting for officials. Costs, the holiday is priced at 920 euros (£822), are generously subsidised by the parliament’s budget. Households receive different levels of subsidy depending on their monthly income but even those on a income of over £108,000 get a discount. There is reduction of up to 52 per cent for officials earning £69,620 a year and an MEP, earning £86,000, is eligible for a subsidy of 45 per cent. …The children will enjoy full board in a three-star hotel in the beautiful village of Spiazzi. The trip includes “workshops” in a “multilingual environment” on the themes of “the mountain, its snow, its nature”. Four hours each day will be spent on the ski slopes and three hours on lessons, such as an “exercice (sic) with snow dogs” as well as “open air games” and a “torchlight procession”. The parliament’s spokesman declined to comment on the holiday.