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EU's Double Parliament Cost Tax Payers Millions

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Once a month it is moving day in Brussels. All 754 members of the European Parliament and their delegations pack up for a long trip to the other European Parliament in Strasbourg, for just four days. (Feb. 6)

SHOTLIST:

AP - AP Clients Only

Brussels - Feb. 5 2013

1. Wide of crews packing material

2. Wide of parliament member in office

3. SOUNDBITE: Alexander Alvaro/German MEP (Transcript Below)

4. Wide of member of parliament on street

5. Wide of flags

6. Wide of office workers

7. Wide of parliament buildings

8. SOUNDBITE Edward McMillan-Scott/British MEP (transcript below)

9. Wide of office movers

STROUSBURG, France - Feb. 4 2013

10. Various of train station

11. SOUNDBITE Edward McMillan-Scott/British MEP (transcript below)

12. Wide of Parliament building

13. SOUNDBITE Francois Hollande/French President

14. Stand up close

VOICE-OVER SCRIPT:

(track: video of Minister of European Parliament packing up papers and a truck being loaded.)

IT'S MOVING DAY IN BRUSSELS, ALL 754 MINISTERS OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THEIR DELEGATIONS ARE PACKING UP FOR THE LONG TRIP TO EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT.

SOUNDBITE (English) Alexander Alvaro/German MEP and Vice President of European Parliament

"I really must admit I can't stand the traveling back and forth anymore. (sot partially covered by video) It is a hassle. You lose approximately one net day in working."

(track: video of Brussels Parliament building and Strasbourg Parliament building)

AS CONFUSING AS THE EUROPEAN UNION IS TO THE REST OF THE WORLD.

MANY OF ITS OWN POLITICIANS DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY THERE ARE STILL TWO HOMES FOR PARLIAMENT.

ONE IN BRUSSELS AND THE OTHER 270 MILES (436 KM) AWAY IN STRASBOURG, FRANCE.

AND THE SAME PEOPLE HAVE TO WORK AT BOTH PLACES.

SOUNDBITE (English) Edward McMillan-Scott/British MEP

"It is complete madness, this extraordinary caravan which leaves Brussels one Monday and then returns there on the same Thursday with lories (trucks), with trunks full of papers."

(track: video of people piling off a train in Strasbourg and loading buses to go to the Parliament.)

EUROPE IS IN THE MIDST OF AUSTERITY, BUT THE PARLIAMENT SPENDS 250 MILLION DOLLARS (185 MILLION EUROS) A YEAR TO MAKE THE MOVE FROM BRUSSELS TO STRASBOURG.

AND THE REASON WHY THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE MOVE BY TRAIN, PLANE AND CAR TO WORK IN STRASBOURG ONE WEEK A MONTH IS A POST WORLD WAR TWO TREATY BETWEEN FRANCE AND GERMANY.

SOUNDBITE (English) Edward McMillan-Scott/British MEP

"I think the outside world looks on with amazement that all of these years after the 2nd World War we are still perpetuating this anachronistic homage to the Franco-German reconciliation."

(track:)

A MAJORITY OF THE MINISTERS OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE STRASBOURG LOCATION CLOSED.

BUT FRENCH POLITICIANS INCLUDING PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE REFUSE TO PUT AN END TO IT BACK AND FORTH.

SOUNDBITE (French with English voice translation) Francois Hollande/President of France

"I think that Strasbourg is there in the treaty, that is the legal basis that sets the headquarters of the European Parliament. But it also has an essential symbolic value for Europe."

Standup: THE EUROPEAN UNION WON THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE FOR ITS ABILITY TO KEEP PEACE ON A WAR RAVAGED CONTINENT.

BUT THIS AGREEMENT FOR PEACE COMES WITH A PRICE THAT DOESN'T ALWAYS MAKE PRACTICAL SENSE.

THIS COMPLICATED POLITICAL SYSTEM KEEPS EVERY COUNTRY INVOLVED BUT IT NEVER LEAVES ANY ONE NATION COMPLETELY SATISFIED.

MARK CARLSON, ASSOCIATED PRESS, STRASBOURG, FRANCE.

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