UKIP MEP for Wales John Bufton slams €120,000 trip to French Guiana
• Some 13 MEPs and 10 interpreters are due on the three-day trip, from 2 to 5 November, which is estimated to cost €120,000 and has been organised by the Regional Development Committee.
The MEPs include four French, one Lithuanian, one Czech, four German, two Portuguese, and one each from Romania, Hungary and Greece. It also includes two secretariat staff from the regional development committee, two political group staff and 8 to 10 interpreters.
The visit follows the launch into orbit this week (20 Oct) of two Galileo navigation satellites via Russia's Soyuz VS01 rocket (pictured) from French Guiana.
A parliamentary source defended the visit, saying it would be "informative and very useful" for MEPs and staff alike.
But the trip was condemned by John Bufton, UKIP MEP and member of the regional development committee.
He said, "There are three MEPs from bailed out countries, two Portuguese and one Greek. I'm sure they are using taxpayers' money wisely, having a nice holiday in South America, while their own economies collapse at home."
He added, "This is a clear example of wasting taxpayers' money on a useless junket for MEPs.
"This trip will not benefit ordinary people one iota. It must be particularly galling for people from PIGI countries undergoing tough austerity measures at this time to watch their MEPs staying in luxurious hotels in exotic locations.
"That the hugely expensive EU Galileo satellites will also be launched from French Guiana next week just confirms what a waste of money the EU really is."