EU 2014 budget calls for pay increases, security cuts

April 25, 2013 at 12:05 PM

BRUSSELS, April 25 (UPI) -- European Union diplomats will get a pay increase next year, but it will come at the expense of reduced security, officials say.

A draft 2014 budget puts total spending at $689 million, $27.3 million or 4.1 percent more than this year, the EUobserver reported Wednesday.

While it proposes to save $7.4 million by axing or downgrading 30 positions and making administrative adjustments, the budget sets aside $19.8 million for "mandatory increases" in staff salaries.

Part of that money is earmarked in the event courts side with trade unions over salary disputes, a spokesman said.

However, the draft proposes to cut money for secure computer networks by 23 percent, about $3.25 million, and another $2 million from security at the EU headquarters building in Brussels.

It will add almost $5.9 million for bodyguards at embassies considered to be at risk "due to the security situation in an increasing number of countries and inflation in the price of private security services."

Of the 950 officials in the EU's foreign service, 58 percent are paid $13,400 to $23,900 each month.

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