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Labour MEP Eluned Morgan
"This is pure hypocrisy"
 real 28k

Plaid MEP Jill Evans
"The money has come to the Treasury and not to Wales"
 real 28k

Friday, 19 November, 1999, 08:35 GMT
Euro row over "Welsh" money rebate
Plaid is under attack for rebate "give-away"

Plaid Cymru's Euro MPs have been accused of voting to "hand back" millions of pounds of "Welsh" money to Brussels.

In a debate in the European Parliament on Britain's EU budget rebate, the party's two MEPs backed moves to remove the rebate - worth 2.3bn to the UK this year.

Labour claims that Wales' share of that money is 115m - 40 for every person living in Wales.

The Labour Party has described Plaid Cymru's position as "astonishing".

But Plaid has disputed the figures and says that the rebate is unsustainable.

Britian's EU rebate was negotiated at Fontainbleau by Margaret Thatcher in recognition that the UK pays more into the EU than it receives.

But that can be said of a number of member states and it has been a bone of contention ever since.

The most recent attempt to remove the rebate came at the recent Berlin Summit, but was knocked back by Blair.

Labour MEP Eluned Morgan said:"It is astonishing that Plaid have voted to hand back 115m of Welsh money to Europe.

"While Labour MEPs have been standing up for the British rebate, Plaid have voted to give it back to Brussels - a move that would cost each and every person in Wales 40."

Labour said the rebate is worth 40 for every adult in Wales
But Plaid Cymru has hit back at the accusations.

Plaid MEP Jill Evans said: "What we've said for a long time is that the agreement that was negotiated by Margaret Thatcher and carried on by Labour has not benefitted Wales.

"In fact, Wales has lost out. The money has come to the Treasury and hasn't been passed on to Wales.

"Wales has lost out by getting less of the European funding that is supposed to be aimed at poorer areas."

Plaid also said that a rethink is necessary in view of EU enlargement and the rebate will not be sustainable.

Under the rules of match-funding, bringing in European grants to an area of need like Wales results in a decrease in the rebate - a powerful disincentive to the Treasury allowing such schemes the go-ahead, said Plaid.

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See also:
10 Nov 99 |  Wales
Assembly budget under scrutiny
20 Oct 99 |  Wales
Euro row over 'unofficial' Welsh language
06 May 99 |  News
Plaid's vision of 'learning country'
12 Dec 98 |  UK Politics
UK will retain EU rebate - Blair

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