The European Commission has suspended aid to Egypt after it has emerged that £500 million disappeared without a trace in the last five years. The sum was supposed to counter corruption, promote human rights and democracy, but the European Court of Auditors criticised it as an utter failure. The problems in Egypt had been sharply deteriorating since the Muslim Brotherhood was elected into power. £70 million of the aid came from British contributions.
The sheer waste is staggering, money that could have been better spent to relieve the Eurozone crisis in a continent tormented with austerity is being used to finance a despotic government instead. The EU agency responsible for handing out the aid was criticised by the ECA because they failed to spell out conditions for reform or to measure the performance of the Egyptian government in combating human rights issues or corruption. The five year delay before they realised that the money was not going anywhere only highlights the shambolic policy making of Brussels.
The aid is not a one-off project but in pursuance of article 21(2) of the Maastricht Treaty which enshrines the commitment to promote ‘democracy and human rights’. What it seems to entail is throwing British taxpayers money down the drain unchecked, but when unelected officials are in charge of vast sums of other peoples money they will inevitably fail to treat it with care. We can’t trust them with our wealth, we can’t trust them with our laws. The Great British Public deserve better.