How much does it cost to run a campaign to get elected to the European Parliament?
Nationalist MEP candidate Peter Agius has laid out exactly how much he has spent and received since launching his campaign last September and has challenged other candidates to follow his lead.
“Although the law only requires us to declare our campaign expenditures after the election, I believe it is best to declare them before if we want the people to choose independent candidates with integrity,” he said.
Agius said he has spent around €22,640 on his campaign so far and that only €3,600 has been offset by donations. As a lighthearted addition, he included the €60 worth of aubergines, potatoes and other fruit and vegetables that farmers had gifted him throughout the campaign.
This is a breakdown of his costs:
-€3,500 to organise 36 activities, with costs including the creation of a backdrop, the renting of a sound system and the provision of food.
-€700 on professional photography and video editing
-€1,890 on flight tickets for 42 flights, mostly to and from Malta and Brussels, where he works as a speechwriter for European Parliament President Antonio Tajani
-€1,800 on paid interviews on Smash TV that were eventually banned by the Broadcasting Authority on the grounds that political shows should include representatives from both parties.
-€3,600 on printing flyers, cards, invitations, banners and posters
-€800 on phone bills
-€650 on SMS costs
-€3,550 on print advertising
-€850 on Facebook advertising
-€5,300 on the distribution of Christmas cards, event invitations and flyers in the mail
Agius took a dig at the Labour Party’s MEP candidates, who he said are being assisted by government employees during work hours.
“My volunteers contribute at great sacrifice, many after work hours and by taking leave,” he said. “None of them work as persons of trust and none of them are government employees who punch in for work before going off to work for a candidate, as is the case with PL candidates.”
“Many of my volunteers actually choose not to make public appearances or even write something on Facebook because they don’t want to risk reprisals.”