Senior Euro-MPs and European Union officials have tried to hush up an internal audit that found severe problems and endemic misuse of funds worth at least £98.4 million a year, more than £125,000 for each of the 785 Euro-MPs.
Such is the extent of the abuse found in a sample group of 167 Euro-MPs that "terrified" parliamentary authorities have shrouded the report in secrecy and security.
"We want reform but we cannot make this report available to the public if we want people to vote in the European elections next year," said a source close to the decision.
I think that Timmy provides the best translation for that sentence.
We cannot allow this report to be available to the public if we want people to vote for us in the European elections next year.
And we must continue to vote for them so that they may continue to built EUtopia* for us all.
Only Euro-MPs on the parliament's budget control committee are allowed to see the report.
To do so, they must apply to enter a "secret room", protected by biometric locks and security guards. They may not take notes and must sign a confidentiality agreement.
Last night, after an emergency meeting of senior officials including Mr Rømer and Mr Pöttering, triggered by The Daily Telegraph's investigation, a spokesman for the parliament denied a cover-up.
"The document is not secret. It is confidential," he said. "It can be read by Euro-MPs on the budget control committee, in the secret room but not generally. That is not the same as a secret document nobody can read."
Oh, well, that's alright then. A document that almost nobody can read (and then not until they have signed a non-disclosure form) is definitely not the same as a secret document. By this thinking, MI5 and MI6 don't have any secret documents and neither does anyone else. It means that there is, in fact, no such thing as a secret document because everyone will have read every document at some stage.
Well, that's a weight off my mind, I can tell you...
* Yes, I have pinched this off Nosemonkey.
... I’m fully aware that the EU is anything but a perfect society. Utopia, after all, was “No place”—it didn’t exist.