It is understood that the powers-that-be in the European Parliament are seeking to enforce attendance at European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso's first ever 'State of the Union' address next week by punishing absentee MEPs with a docking of their daily subsistence allowance for meals and accommodation.
Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford protesting against this move said:
"We are supposed to be a democratic parliament one in which MEPs are inspired to attend a debate through its intrinsic interest and relevance. To enforce attendance through the use of disciplinary measures is reminiscent of Stalinist and Maoist stage-management at its worst."
Note to Editors
Other views by Sarah on the same topic can be read here: