EU commissioner for terminology Jens Paarlsen has been employing some of his closest colleagues over the past four years to take up privileged soft-touch positions as members of his family, it has emerged.

During his tenure as Denmark's commissioner to the EU, Paarlsen has spent over 400 000 euros in handing out 'boys for the jobs' perks.

His sons Karl and Magnus, it transpires, were in fact drafted in from Paarlsen's cabinet. Karl, 9, is actually Jack Smoo, 36, advisor on justice and home affairs issues, while Magnus, 14, has for many years been the commissioner's long-standing speech writer and political campaigner Christina Maga.

The scandal has triggered a wide-ranging witch-hunt at the heart of the EU institutions to track down other high-ranking officials handing out blood-relationship or spouse status to employees.

Not since 1998 when Italian commissioner Selina Mosta was forced to resign, along with all her colleagues, after it transpired she had appointed her director general to be her gynecologist, has the commission been faced with such a crisis.

MEPs were conspicuously reluctant to criticise...

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