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November 11, 2002

EU will not probe misuse of aid to PA

The EU agains shows its indifference to Arafat corruption.
LONDON European Foreign Affairs Commissioner Chris Patten has turned down a leading European legislator who wants an investigation into alleged illegal use of EU aid to the Palestinian Authority.

In response to a question by Charles Tanner, Conservative foreign affairs spokesman in the European Parliament, about charges that European aid to the Palestinians currently running at 10 million euros a month is being diverted to fund terrorist activity, Patten said he wants the issue investigated "like a hole in the head."

In a letter to The Sunday Telegraph, Tanner said that "if there is to be any chance of securing a lasting peace in the Middle East, we must settle beyond all reasonable doubt such serious allegations of fraudulent and violent misuse of EU taxpayers' money."

Otherwise, he said, "aggrieved Israelis will feel entitled to sue the EU."
Patten, he said, "should be the first to accept that he has all to gain by clearing the air once and for all."

He said he and colleagues in the European Parliament have launched a bipartisan bid to obtain the 157 signatures needed to set up an inquiry "to investigate allegations that EU funds are being illegally diverted to fund terrorist activity against Israeli civilians."

"Rather unexpectedly," he wrote, "the European Commission [the cabinet of the European parliament] has resisted this initiative.Commissioner Patten's response to my intervention at Question Time... was that he wanted the issue investigated 'like a hole in the head.' "