Not Promising

It’s a bit too early to draw any hard and fast conclusions about this weeks summit, but this early snippet of news doesn’t look too promising:

“European leaders plunged into a full-blown crisis at a summit, with a battle raging over long-term EU financing and their lofty plans for an EU constitution nearly in tatters………..French President Jacques Chirac called for an emergency meeting to extricate the bloc from the mess created by deep splits over the bloc’s budget and by a growing popular revolt against the proposed EU treaty….

Leaders had hoped a deal on the 2007-2013 EU budget would let them show a united front after French and Dutch voters delivered stinging rejections of their constitition, meant to lay the ground rules for an enlarged 25-nation alliance.

Instead, the summit was overwhelmed by an embarassing squabble over money, with British Prime Minister Tony Blair refusing demands by the other 24 EU nations, led by France, that he surrender an annual budget rebate.

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".

4 thoughts on “Not Promising

  1. Kaletsky has a pretty good paragraph in today’s Times:

    But like a troupe of repertory actors determined to carry on whatever happens, the leaders of Europe wander aimlessly from one capital city to another, mechanically delivering their tedious, posturing dialogue in the unconvincing tragicomedy whose plot everybody knows by heart.

  2. I was flabbergasted to see the childish /cynical/ irresponsible tone in some comments of Juncker where he stated that “he was very glad that Blair now was to head the meetings on the budget” (not a literal quote; I saw him on Dutch TV)

  3. Off topic: I do not understand why people put polls on their sites. I like the Afoe polls however: give you some idea of its readership.

  4. I am surprised that Frans G was flabbergasted at the remarks and attitude taken by Juncker. Most of the EU’s political leaders engage in childish, cynical and irresponsible politics where the EU is concerned. It has ever been so, and is one of the fundamental reasons why there is such a huge gulf opening up between politicians and EU citizens.

    Another example are Giscard d’Estaing’s recent remarks that appeared in the New York Times, where he is quoted as telling Chirac not to give people a copy of the Constitution because “It is not possible for anyone to understand the full text”.

    I would add that exactly the same happens on the domestic political scene in most EU member states, to a greater or lesser degree.

    Perhaps we get the politicians we deserve, but I also tend to agree with Winston Churchill’s remark that ‘democracy is four years of elected dictatorship’.

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