Jean-Claude Juncker in Expenses Row Over £24,450 Private Plane to Rome
The European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and his team racked up a bill of £24,450 by chartering a private plane for a one-night visit to Rome, campaigners have revealed.
The fee for the "air taxis" which commissioners are supposed to charter only when there are no commercial options available was part of almost half a million euro bill accumulated by the 28 commissioners in January and February 2016.
Spanish-based human rights group Access Info spent several years trying to obtain detailed information about EU officials' expenses and following an official request, the Commission released the travel expenses documents.
The private jet from Brussels to Rome was used by Mr Juncker and an eight-people delegation in February 2016.
Commission deputy chief spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said the private plane was chartered because there was "no viable commercial plane available that would fit the president's agenda".
She also stressed the £2,650 cost per person for the flight and said the spending was within EU rules.
Ms Andreeva also described flights on "air taxis" as "hard work", which includes "reading documents with your files and marking them", adding: "So I think you will be disappointed as to the travelling experience."
She said all travel expenses were scrutinised by the Commission.
The documents also showed the Commission chartered "air taxis" 28 times in 2016 and added that the flights were often shared with the president of the European Council and Parliament, the Telegraph reports, quoted by the Independent.
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