Hans-Peter Martin, the Austrian member of the European Parliament who risked the fury of his fellow MEPs when he blew the lid on their vast and secret travel expenses, announced today that he is going to quit politics because of a new ‘Heil-Hitler feeling’ in his home country.
The left-wing Dr Martin said that on a tour across Austria in recent weeks he experienced “a horrid, spooky desire for a new “Heil-Hitler” feeling.”
“The shift towards the far right Freedom Party of Austria is scarily big,” he said.
“In this environment, I cannot see for the EU elections on 25 May 2014 a meaningful way to sufficiently oppose this dangerous shift to the far right in Austria.” He will instead return to international journalism “because the major topics have changed.”
Martin was first elected to the European Parliament as a Social Democrat in 1999, although since 2004 has sat as an independent. He calls himself ‘a convinced European,’ but he has been outstanding in his attacks on the lush privileges enjoyed by members of the parliament and his fight against the influence of the €350m EU lobbying industry.
Between 2011 and 2013, Martin, a member of the economic and monetary affairs committee, recorded each of the 1,427 emails and telephone calls made to him by special interest groups and lobbyists. He calculated that the total cash benefit offered to him in luxury trips abroad and other gifts by these lobbyists amounted to €65,000 – “the equivalent of the average net income of a German or Austrian household.”
During a two year investigation ten years ago, Martin filmed hundreds of MEPs dashing into the expenses office at Strasbourg on Friday mornings – though the parliament does not sit on Fridays — for a daily parliamentary allowance. Meanwhile queues of Mercedes Benz limousines waited at the door to take the MEPs and their cash hand-outs to the airport. One MEP assaulted Martin when he realised he was being filmed.
Martin has since then gone on compiling a ‘catalogue of sins’ of the MEPs. Just last February, he noted the on-going costs of the European Parliament’s ‘information offices’ — in effect part of the tax-payer funded multi-billion euro propaganda machine of the European Project:
“The 34 so-called “Information Offices” of the European Parliament from Helsinki to Lisbon devour vast sums – in 2012 alone they were €38m. In Vienna, the total cost was €963,078, but the salary costs rose in Vienna from almost €60,000 to €572,826 in 2012. Over €1.8m were issued solely for business trips of the employees of these information offices.”
He also tracked dozens of details, including the €40m-plus per year transport costs of the MEPs. He discovered that the cost of translating parliamentary amendments alone was €2.5m in 2012.
“I have tried to contribute to positive changes of the EU system – involving uncomfortable criticism,” he said
Now ‘too many powerful people in Austria do not want a truly independent person in politics.”