Thursday, August 11, 2005

They can't even give it away

The Polish Confederation of Private Employers is complaining bitterly that despite submitting several thousand applications for EU grants, Polish companies have received so far only a small part of the EU funds allotted to them.

According to the PKPP, companies have submitted applications for nearly £1bn more than the maximum sum available from the EU programmes, only 22 percent of funds allocated by the EU has been granted, and only 0.1 percent have actually paid out. As for payments to local governments and small businesses, the figure amounts to 0.6 percent of the available sum.

The PKPP blames the complicated application procedures, while employers are critical of the government for failing to provide essential information on how to apply for EU aid.

I suppose this makes a change from the constant flow of stories about fraud and corruption. But it is an odd situation where the crooks seem to be able to raid EU funds quite successfully, while the honest applicants go begging. On second thoughts, though, why am I surprised?

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