Van Bommel: Not a cent more for Euro-propaganda fund

18 January 2008

Van Bommel: Not a cent more for Euro-propaganda fund

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel is demanding an explanation from Labour Party Secretary of State for Europe Frans Timmermans regarding the granting of a subsidy to a foundation with close links to his own party.

Harry van BommelThe Alfred Mozer Foundation, established by the PvdA (Labour Party), last year received a total of €94.031 from the Europa Fund to enable it to organise a tour of Europe. Only last week it was revealed that this same Europa Fund had financed two pro-EU programmes broadcast on state television. The programmes in question presented a one-sided, positive view of aspects of the European Union, without either the viewer or even the programmes' producers being made aware of where the money to make them had come from. Leading daily NRC Handelsblad noted as long ago as last may that organisations whose views were critical of the EU had little or no chance of receiving subsidies from the Europa Fund.

“The Europa Fund is a fund for political propaganda for fans of the existing EU,” says Van Bommel. “We don't pay our taxes to have them used in this way! First of all we see pro-EU film reports broadcast with money from the fund, without the viewer being informed of this. Then it turns out that money is being spent on a foundation belonging to one of the governing parties, while applications from EU-critical organisations are rejected more-or-less routinely. This fund shouldn't get another cent. It should be wound up. If this government wanted to promote discussion about Europe, it shouldn't have refused to hold a referendum. All they really want is propaganda. You can join in the debate, as long as all you say is “yes' and 'amen'.”

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