The European Commission is set to move back to its original headquarters in the Berlaymont building, renovated at enormous cost to Belgian taxpayers.
In just under two months the European Commission will be moving back into the revamped Berlaymont building, its huge headquarters in Brussels. Abandoned by EU officials 13 years ago because it was found to contain asbestos, the Berlaymonster, as it has come to be known, will house all 25 commissioners and some 2,000 officials starting November 1. The Commissioners will occupy the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th floors of the building while Commission president José Manuel Durão Barroso will move into offices on the 13th floor. The building has cost the Belgian tax payers millions of euros. The European Commission last year signed an agreement with the Belgian State to buy the building for around 553 million euro, to be paid from 2005 over the next 27 years. (EUobserver.com)