Congress spent four million on trips in 2019 despite being dissolved for 5 months

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TheCongress spent almost four million euros on national and international tripsduring 2019, including the five months of failed legislature in which there was almost no parliamentary activity and another five months in which the Chamber was dissolved on the occasion of the two general elections.

Specifically, throughout 2019,2,802,749.39 euros were billed in movements of deputiesby national territory, while for the exits abroad, also those of the senators, 1,014,311.9 euros were invested.

According to the latest disaggregated data, collected by Europa Press, total national travel expenses amounted to 2,249,469.52 euros in the twelve months of last year. This figure is44.15% lower than the 5,019,068 invested in the same concept in 2018, in which the parliamentary activity was the usual one. That is, the failed legislature and the two dissolution periods have resulted in a saving of 2.21 million euros for the Lower House on trips within Spain.

From them,1,731,431.15 euros were invested in trips made by the deputies between Madrid and its constituencies, the so-called ‘parliamentary activity’, and another 509,316.49 in movements to attend political events. In addition, 8,721.88 euros were dedicated for institutional trips.

These figures include airline, train and bus tickets, as well as compensation for mileage in private vehicles, in addition to management fees, cancellations, changes and tickets issued pending use.

In addition, the deputies and also the senators who are part of the Spanish delegations in international parliamentary assemblies, made 66 trips abroad in which 1,014,311.9 euros had to be invested. Almost 42% of that amount (424,146.13 euros) was spent with the Chamber dissolved.

Abroad

The first period of dissolution, on the occasion of the general elections of April 28, took place between March 5 and May 21, when the new Congress was established. In that interim they were madenine trips abroad that cost 156,778.07 euros.

And between September 24 and December 3, when the Cortes were again dissolved by the electoral repetition that took place on November 10, parliamentary departures abroad amounted to 13. In this second period, in which only remained activates the Permanent Delegation, the cost was 267,268.06 euros.

Precisely themost expensive trip of the yearIt took place in this period. It was between September 30 and October 4 toStrasbourg (France), on the occasion of the fourth part of the 2019 plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and cost 109,775.87 euros.

As usual, the displacements of the Spanish delegation of this body are the ones that have been more expensive due to the number of parliamentarians who travel to international meetings. Specifically, in 2019 they accumulated three that exceeded 100,000 and the fourth most expensive -82,311.42 euros- was also his and with the dissolved Courts.

Among other places, in addition to the traditional community destinations, last year the honorable members traveled to Ctying, Japan, Paraguay, United States, Cape Verde,Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova.

The 1.01 million invested in 2019 include only travel and accommodation expenses in the different destinations, butnot the expenses of the deputies during their stay outside the country. Until 2017, the parliamentarians who participated in these trips received a daily diet of 150 euros, but Congress replaced this amount with a system of payment of duly justified expenses.

In 2018, in which the Cortes functioned normally, international travel spending exceeded 1.53 million euros, while the previous year reached 1.82 million. In 2016, the year in which they were dissolved once because the generals also had to be repeated in June for lack of investiture, Congress dedicated 1.05 million in foreign travel.

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