Creating new perspectives since 2009

Palestine PM denies halt in EU aid for Gaza staff

May 8, 2015 at 8:40 am

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah denied media reports claiming the European Union has stopped channelling money earmarked for Gaza employees and pensioners.

Hamdallah told the Anadolu Agency, on the sidelines of Europe Day in Ramallah, that the European Union auditors have asked if there were employees in Gaza who receive salaries without working.

Palestinian Al-Ayyam newspaper last week quoted a diplomatic source in the European Union as saying that the EU informed the Palestinian government that it will stop funding civil employees in Gaza who stopped working after Hamas took control of the Strip in 2007.

According to the paper, the diplomat said the European Union has informed the Palestinian government that it was difficult for the EU to continue paying salaries for staff who do not work.

Hamdallah denied the report saying the European Union is determined to support Palestinian institutions in Gaza, East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

According to the prime minister, the EU auditors’ report included an inquiry about those staff, pointing out that the Palestinian government has already asked the employees to return to their jobs.

The European Union contributes nearly €180 million per year ($200 million) towards employees and pensioners’ salaries in the West Bank and Gaza.

EU representative to the West Bank and Gaza, John Gatt Rutter said the European Union has financial inquiries regarding the PA’s spending.

Rutter said the European Union will continue to provide financial support to the Palestinian Authority because “we believe in a brighter future, and this requires transparency about spending channels including Gaza employees’ salaries.”

Rutter added that the European Union invests in Palestine and in building its institutions to create a stable state.