To: The Solihull Times and Sutton Coldfield News

The EU saved between 3 and 4 million euros when in August, a 10 tonne portion of ceiling collapsed over the UKIP area of the plenary chamber in Strasbourg. A French MEP claims 300 people could have died if it had fallen during a session. A UKIP official said “It was not us!”

In 1992 the EU Summit, chaired by John Major, legally confirmed the use of the Strasbourg parliament building twelve times a year, giving France a veto over its closure. The beautiful city of Strasbourg suffered a financial blow due to this collapse but the travelling circus will return in October to fill all the hotel rooms, bars and restaurants.

Each month this circus of 784 MEPs (clowns?) and about 4000 staff (jugglers?) have to find their way there (not easy) to a building not used for 317 days in a year. Each MEP has an official visitors’ quota of 100 per year, each receives a subsidy on visiting the parliament. ( more than 270 euros to visit Strasbourg from here.)

The European Parliament in Strasbourg

The European Parliament in Strasbourg

If you and a friend are interested in visiting (both over 14 years and from this area) please write to the editor. A draw on 25 October 2008 will select a pair to visit the Strasbourg parliament on 25 March 2009 as my visitors, the pair will be given 540 + euros in total on inspecting the parliament and listening to an explanation. Transport and accommodation to be organised by the visitors but I can give suggestions/alternatives.