Eurostat Scandal

(Photo: Commission)

Eurostat Scandal

Eurostat is the statistical office of the EU Commission. It has been alleged that senior officials within Eurostat channelled millions of euros into unofficial bank accounts, away from budgetary controls.

This was announced to the European Parliament at a meeting (Wednesday 9 July, 2003) by at the time Administrative reform Commissioner Neil Kinnock and his monetary affairs colleague Pedro Solbes.

It is alleged that Eurostat officials proposed fake sums of money to be used for contracts and then spent leftover money as they pleased - this practice was used only with certain 'trustworthy' contractors.

In 1999, when this originally came to light, senior Eurostat officials asked that this practice be stopped. However, this instruction was delivered orally and with no systematic following-up or monitoring.

The Hamburg-based magazine Stern claims that Eurostat concluded so-called "fictitious contracts" with private companies in 2000 and 2001.