01 NOV 2010
The EU has been accused of “vanity” after it emerged that the new diplomatic corps headed by Baroness Ashton will spend £32.8m on bullet-proof limousines for some of its 7,000 officials who will enjoy postings in Barbados and even the tiny Pacific island of Vanuatu.
By Martin Banks | Telegraph
The cost covers the purchase and maintenance of the 150 vehicles for four years with 30 cars being sent to missions in each of five regions around the world, including capitals where there is little or no terrorist threat.
A breakdown of the new European External Action Service (EEAS), which will have a budget of £8bn, shows that the diplomatic postings will include sending 46 officials to Barbados, 57 to Vietnam and 95 to Ukraine.
Even the tiny Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, which has a population of just 230,000, will have six diplomats.
The new EEAS corps, formally launched on 1 December and which includes the EU’s massive aid and development budgets, will dwarf Britain’s Foreign Office, which employs 4,863 diplomats.
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