The deputies received a per diem of more than $1,400 (PYG 9 million) while visiting Morocco on a government mission during the Green March.
Rabat – A Paraguayan daily, Ultima Hora, has accused deputies from the lower chamber of the Paraguayan Congress of taking unnecessary government trips to such “paradise” vacation spots as Panama, Colombia, Brazil, Costa Rica, and “most curiously” Morocco.
The daily described the trips abroad as wasteful and reported that the congressional deputies received per diems ranging from $155 to $1,500.
When two deputies, Hugo Ibarra and Angel Paniagua, traveled to Morocco from November 6 to 13, 2019, they received just over $1,400 (PYG 9 million) per day. Ibarra and Paniagua, both first-time deputies, attended Morocco’s Green March celebration, marking the 1975 Moroccan march into Western Sahara, during their trip.
Morocco commemorated the Green March last year with a football gala in Laayoune, the most populous city in Western Sahara. Many football players from South America came to Morocco to play in the gala, including Argentinians Javier Saviola and Hernan Crespo and Brazilian Rivaldo.
Ultima Hora remarked that when deputies take such congressional trips, they do little to further their work in developing domestic laws. Instead, the newspaper suggested, they take the trips because their destinations are enjoyable vacation spots, saying the new deputies are clearly enjoying the all-expenses-paid travel.
In 2017, the chairman of the Paraguayan Congress’s lower house said, in the context of budget cuts, that deputies should limit themselves to taking one trip abroad per year. Pedro Alliana said three foreign trips per year were too much, and one should be enough.