Is Parliament's Strasbourg seat actually safe? - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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Is Parliament's Strasbourg seat actually safe?

Monday, 14 December 2009
It would appear that the safety of the European Parliament seat at Strasbourg is continuing to cause problems and concerns...

European Parliament, Strasbourg (Louise Weiss Building - LOW) by ajburgess, on Flickr

EUObserver reported this morning that a chunk of plaster "measuring no more than 1.5 metres by 1.5 metres" fell down from the ceiling in the Pierre Pflimlin (PFL) building, which is home to the communication department (and where Newshound has an office apparently - although I couldn't find it).

The reason for this chunk falling has been attributed to the combination of "building work and heavy rainfall" in Strasbourg and could not have come at a worse time as MEPs, officials, and masses of stagiaires head down to the charming French town for the December session.

But a look back in the archives reveals that this is not the first time the Strasbourg seat has caused the Parliament problems...

Last August (2008), a 10-tonne chunk of the ceiling in the Strasbourg plenary chamber fell down, and in 2007 the buildings were condemned by officials after they discovered "alarming levels of asbestos".

The year before that, in 2006, it emerged that Strasbourg authorities had been overcharging the EU by millions of Euros a year in rent for 25 years. And if that wasn't enough, Legionnaires disease was found in the plumbing in 2002.

But of course with the seat also facing criticism by many because of the large expenses incurred in transferring MEPs and officials from Brussels and Luxembourg for one week every month, this latest incident is by comparison just the tip of the iceberg!

The December session may not have already begun but it already looks to be making headlines for all the wrong reasons...

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