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How the EU president lives

The office of José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European commission, racked up a €249,000 bill for private jets during the same period he attended the 2009 UN convention on climate change.

world Updated: Jun 03, 2011 00:04 IST

The office of José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European commission, racked up a €249,000 bill for private jets during the same period he attended the 2009 UN convention on climate change.

Barroso's jet bill for the nine-month period is just a small part of €7.5m worth of trips on private jets chartered by EU commissioners over the last five years, uncovered in research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

The commission declined to comment on the specifics of the spending on private jets, other than to confirm €249,000 was a private jet spend for 2009 for the president's office, but refused to say whether he took such a jet - which releases around 55 tonnes of carbon dioxide each transatlantic flight - to the convention itself.

The bureau found that Barroso and 35 others spent €28,000 at the luxury Peninsula New York hotel during the visit to the UN climate change convention. This figure was confirmed by the commission.

The research also uncovered public money being used to fund a €75,000 cocktail party at a science conference in 2009. An additional €20,000 was spent on gifts for commission guest speakers since 2008, including cufflinks, fountain pens and Tiffany jewellery.