Richard North, 07/09/2004  

...we bring you EU budget commissioner Michaele Schreyer. On announcing the news this afternoon that the Dutch pay most into the European Union's coffers, while the Portuguese and Irish are the biggest recipients of EU funds, this visitor from outer space declared that whether net contributor or net beneficiary, the economic advantages of belonging to the European Union far outweigh the costs.

Overall just four EU countries were net beneficiaries to EU coffers in 2003: Portugal, Greece, Ireland and Spain, while all the rest were net contributors, the report said. In terms of cash per head, this amounted to a net receipt of 391.7 euros for each Irish national, 333.4 euros for Portuguese, 305.3 euros for Greeks and 213.9 euros for Spaniards.

At the other of the scale, Dutch and Luxembourg nationals paid 120 euros and 125 euros respectively, followed by Swedes on 106 euros, Germans on 93 euros, Belgians on 75 euros and Britons on 46.5 euros. French pay 32 euros each.

"For net contributors too, the economic and political benefits from belonging to the internal market, the currency union and the European peace framework far outweigh the net payments to the EU budget," the Zoggite said. "EU membership is the best conceivable investment," it added.

Clearly, as can be seen, these words cannot have been uttered by a sentient human being. We await the response from the EU commissioner of Earth.

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