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EDITIONS
 Wednesday, 8 January, 2003, 20:21 GMT
Suspended EU accountant wants MEP role
Marta Andreasen
Marta Andreasen wants to run as a Conservative MEP
Iolo ap Dafydd

The European Union's suspended chief accountant, removed from her post by former Labour leader Neil Kinnock, wants to stand as a Conservative MEP against his wife Glenys, reports have indicated.

Argentine-born Marta Andreasen was ousted from her post last summer after she famously attacked the credibility of reform policies introduced by Mr Kinnock.

She still faces disciplinary action from the commission, instigated by Mr Kinnock's office, she believes.

Glenys Kinnock MEP
Mrs Kinnock is a Labour MEP for Wales
Now after approaching the Conservative Party, some reports suggest she would like to challenge for an MEP seat in Wales, one of which is currently held for Labour by Mrs Kinnock.

The Argentine-born Andreasen first came to prominence last year, as a "whistleblower" on the so-called shoddy accounting of the European Commission.

Then, the Spanish accounting officer of the commission complained that Neil Kinnock's reforms within the EU's administrative body didn't go far enough.

She was suspended last May and moved to a nominal personnel post.

She was suspended again in August after issuing warnings of dangerous failings in the EU's accounting system which is supposed to regulate an annual budget of 63 billion.

In a letter dated 9 December last year she formally asked to be a Tory candidate and to be able to stand in next year's European elections.

In her letter she writes: "Mr Kinnock's famous reforms are a mockery and a failure" and a part of her desire to join the Conservatives in Britain is to raise awareness of these issues.

Selection

She may however be a little late.

One Conservative insider told me that selecting candidates in 10 out of 11 regions in Britain for the 2004 European elections had already been settled.

Scotland is the last area where she might be able to be invited to stand.

European Commissioner Neil Kinnock
Neil Kinnock: role to stamp out EU corruption
Some reports suggest Marta Andreasen is keen to stand against Neil Kinnock's wife, MEP Glenys Kinnock.

Her only hope at the moment seems to be to ensure her name be top of a reserve list, should one of the five Conservative candidates in Wales drop out.

Currently OJ Williams, Felicity Elphick and Robert Buckland are already filling 3 slots on the Tory list in Wales.

The other two places are expected to be taken by Andrew Griffiths and the current Welsh Conservative MEP Jonathan Evans.

According to Mr Evans, the leader of the British Tories in the European Parliament, meetings in Central, North and South Wales in mid January would finalise proceedings

It hardly leaves a credible chance for Ms Andreasen to achieve her goal - of having tried to embarrass Mr Kinnock in Europe, to score political points against his wife in Wales.

According to Ms Andreasen her motivation is " .. to fight for reform within the European Commission".

She says she would welcome the chance to fight Mrs Kinnock politically and raise the agenda of financial reform within the European Union.

She believes it should be an issue which would interest any voter in European elections

Banned

Although based in Brussels and Barcelona, as an EU citizen she is qualified to approach any political party and ask to be their candidate.

She is still suspended on full pay and has to reside in Brussels between Monday and Friday - with no duties as she's banned from stepping into any Commission building - so as not to break her contract while the slow disciplinary procedures continue.

Some Conservatives however privately feel she discredited some of her claims against Neil Kinnock's budgetary reforms by being too closely aligned with Eurosceptic elements in the largest umbrella political group in the European parliament - the EPP-ED.

Glenys Kinnock MEP, her possible political opponent in Wales should she be selected on the Welsh Conservative list, or be used as a reserve, declined to comment.

In September last year, Mr Kinnock, defended his team's work at the EC to the European Parliament's budgetary control committee.

He said: "We are doing our damnedest to ensure there are accounting changes to address complaints about wrongdoing."

See also:

20 Jun 02 | Europe
21 Jun 02 | Europe
21 Jun 02 | Business
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