Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

EU must guard against subsidising terror

Letter to the Sunday Telegraph - November 10th 2002

Sir

Sarah Zebaida's article (News, November 3) about an Israeli who is suing the European Union after his wife was murdered by off-duty employees of the Palestinian Authority highlights the possible lack of scrutiny of the 10 million a month that the EU gives to the Palestinian Authority.

I and colleagues on a cross-party basis in the European Parliament have been trying to obtain the 157 signatures needed to set up a parliamentary committee of inquiry to investigate the allegations that EU funds are being illegally diverted to fund terrorist activity against Israeli civilians.

Rather unexpectedly the European Commission has resisted this initiative. Commissioner Patten's response to my intervention at Question Time last month in Strasbourg was that he wanted this issue investigated "like a hole in the head".

If there is to be any chance of securing a lasting peace in the Middle East, we must settle beyond all reasonable doubt such serious allegations of fraudulent and violent misuse of EU taxpayers' money. Otherwise aggrieved Israelis will feel entitled to sue the EU. Commissioner Patten should be the first to accept that he has all to gain by clearing the air once and for all.

Dr. Charles Tannock MEP (Con)
Conservative Foreign Affairs Spokesman, European Parliament