The Daily Mail carried this article today following my press release below
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MEPs Wine Trip To Portugal
Is Sour Grapes Says Nikki Sinclaire
Despite Britain’s £3.6 trillion debt, the UK has committed £6 billion to help bail out hard-pressed Portugal, thanks to a deal signed by Alistair Darling in his former role as Chancellor. Portugal will receive a total of £70 billion in aid after the figure was agreed by the EU yesterday.
However, despite its financial troubles, it is heart-warming to hear that Portugal is still maintaining a spirit of hospitality. In the same week as it was granted £70 billion, MEPs belonging to the Wine, Fruit & Vegetables Intergroup were invited to Portugal for a lavish four-day wine tasting.
The aim of the trip, according to official EU blurb, is to “to show the close relation of cork and wine and the importance of both sectors to the economy of rural areas, particularly in the “Montado Alentejano” region”. Portugal will be funding all the local transport together with meals whilst MEPs will pay for their hotel and travel costs from a specially-alloccated EU budget.
Despite being invited, West Midlands’ MEP, Nikki Sinclaire, will not be going on the trip, commenting:
“If the trip was to look at ways the £70 billion in aid will be administered, I could understand it. However, to organize such an event in the very week Portugal comes cap in hand to the EU seems somewhat grotesque. As far as I am concerned, all this will do is alienate tax payers in the EU who are having to foot the bill for Portugal. Everyone is feeling the squeeze – perhaps this visit by MEPs would be better entitled the ‘grapes of wrath’ tour”.