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EU votes to end Strasbourg meetings

The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to meet only in Brussels and avoid its costly monthly sessions in Strasbourg, but the move faces a French veto.

MPs have two offices and shuttle their staffs for meetings of the full parliament in Strasbourg, a practice that comes from the beginnings of the bloc when France and Germany wanted to find an emblem for their post-war reconciliation.

Critics argue the practice is illogical, expensive and unnecessary. In a 483 to 141 vote, MPs said parliament should be allowed to decide where it meets.

But the proposal must be approved by the 28 EU governments and France is certain to block any change under the current conditions.

The EU spends some 180 million euros (£150 million) a year for the monthly four-day move.

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