A daily blog on the thrills, spills, and frequent absurdities of the world's one and only 'non-imperial empire' - as Barroso himself called it - the European Union.

Anything to say? Contact me at europeandisunion@yahoo.co.uk

Friday, 22 April 2011

European Commission: We Have Bills to Pay

Mr. Fiorilli, we all have bills to pay

This is the third major victory for Eurosceptics in a week. A Millwall fan from the farthest corners of Europe has left the prospects for a Portuguese bailout in disarray, and demonstrations in Croatia have halted the EU's eastward expansion plans. By comparison, the British victory looks rather minor. It was actually an own goal scored by Patrizio Fiorilli, a spokesman for the European Commission, who took on the duty of reminding the British taxpayer that they had a 'legal obligation' to pay the EU billions and billions of pounds in public funds into a budget increase that the democratically elected leaders of the three most powerful countries in Europe were unable to stop.

Hundreds of thousands of people tuned in to see one of nature's rarest spectacles: a BBC presenter giving an EU official a proper grilling. But, as valuable as that is, to know that the BBC has not been completely corrupted, it probably escaped the notice of many of the more casual viewers. For them, the main spectacle was the sight of a man they'd never heard of, representing people they'd never heard of, demand that they pay four hundred pounds per household towards budgets they'd never voted for, passed by a parliament where they control only ten per cent of the seats (seventy-three out of seven hundred and thirty-six), which Britain, France, and Germany put together could do nothing to prevent. Never has the autocratic nature of the European Union, and its effects on the common people, been as exposed to the British public as it was on Newsnight. And, to make things worse for the EU, the presenter was no Kirsty Wark, asking a Eurosceptic guest if he felt pleasure when the EU flag was hoisted. This was Emily Maitlis, who did her best to get an explanation, even bringing up the questionable nature of the EU's unaudited payments.

For the first time, the British public saw how three elected leaders, three countries who are net contributors to the budget, representing two hundred million people, could simply be ignored. For the first time, there was someone on their screens representing institutions that they have little or no control over, that could, apparently, demand money, leaving their government with little option but to hand it over. For the first time, they saw the incredible cost to the country, and to themselves of a vastly-inflated organisation which no-one in this country under the age of fifty has voted to be a part of, and no-one has voted to stay in.

Fiorilli did get away with a few factual errors: the elected parliament cannot propose or repeal legislation, and as for the 'accounts are spotless' claim, over £94,000,000,000 is affected by 'irregularities.' But, on the whole, this was the best I've seen from the BBC in a while. But, for the first time, the British public has had an unbiased look at the EU, and, at a time when taxes, food, and utilities are going through the roof, I doubt they like what they saw.

Oh, and if you have any questions or queries that you'd like to send to Mr. Fiorilli, here is his email address. Thanks to boudicca on the Telegraph for finding it out:


He's a spokesman for the Commission, so he'll probably have a few well-rehearsed answers to most of the obvious questions. But it's the best way to relieve stress.


  1. Nice one Gallowglass. Emily Maitless did a pretty good job of questioning the unelected, arrogant Fiorilli - but it was a real shame the BBC didn't have a spokesperson from the anti-EU camp who could have really laid into him.

    I have already emailed him - I hope many others do likewise.

  2. I've emailed him. It's so difficult to be polite, but I think I managed it. I'm waiting for a response.