If you've ever taken the tourist bus tour in Luxembourg, you probably know that there's an European Parliament building here (shown above). If you've had the pleasure of taking the tour as many times as I had to, you might also remember that this building is rarely used anymore. Instead, the MEPs prefer to meet in Brussels or Strasbourg.
Why then does the "draft budget proposed by the European Parliament" contain "€586 million to renovate and extend the European Parliament building in Luxembourg"?
I don't know, but I can make a few guesses:
- The MEPs have finally decided to stop wasting hundreds of millions of euros every year traveling between Strasbourg and Brussels. Since they couldn't decide between these two cities they chose a third one, Luxembourg. No, wait, this makes far too much sense to be true.
- It's a consolation price for Juncker (€586 million is an investment of €1200 per Luxembourgish resident) because what's-his-name from Belgium became EU president.
- The MEPs are scared of crime and social unrest and remembered they have a building in a peaceful, stable country where the worst problem with immigrants is that some of them only speak one instead of all three official languages. Indeed, if you mention to someone here that you're a MEP you won't get mugged, though you might have to answer a few questions about the best way to get a supposedly safe job working for the EU. Furthermore, the MEPs' lavish lifestyle would not be particularly noteworthy in a country with one of the highest GDPs per capita in the world.
Do you have a better explanation?