Such was the description given in this report from EUBusiness linked here.
Further details of the backdoor deals made to gain the agreement are now emerging which illustrate the validity of the description. France and Germany true to form, apparently demanded, as the price of their agreement to the appointment, that these two countries be given control of the economic direction of the EU fopr the next five years, together down the drain will thus be the refrain! That news comes from the Daily Telegraph this morning linked here.
Just how bad this news is for the whole EU and Euroland in particular may be seen from this quote from a later Bloomberg report:-
French consumer confidence unexpectedly stalled in June and joblessness climbed for the first time in five months in Europe's third-largest economy.
Germany of course is in even worse straits. Not the best candidates to determine the economic direction of the EU - especially when the concession is made to secure such a clearly dubiously qualified candidate as EU President.
I will definitely try to find something cheerful and encouraging to post about the EU or the Constitution tomorrow. Promise! Meantime some cheer from outside the eurozone(again from Bloomberg):-
The U.K.'s economy is growing at more than double the annual pace of the dozen euro nations, driven by business investment and higher government spending on schools and hospitals. Bank of England Governor Mervyn King has warned that faster economic growth and the lowest unemployment in 29 years may spur inflation. The bank has raised interest rates four times since November.
CNN is suggesting that Saddam Hussein may be paraded in cuffs or chains to the worlds media as he is handed over to the Iraqis. Such public displays are popular in America and are known as 'perp' (from perpetrator) walks. They seem to satisfy a craving to humiliate those who have yet to be placed on trial. I hope the Americans will resist the temptation to make a spectacle of this admittedly clearly evil man. Guantanamo is already a big enough stain on that nation's worldwide reputation
Physics World linked here reveals the flaws in the agreed procedure and proposes this alternative:-
They go on to suggest a solution they claim is “representative, transparent, effective and objective” being based on a purely statistical approach that wont handicap any particular country. They calculate that all citizens in the EU would have the same voting power if each member state were given a weight that was proportional to the square root of its population, and if new legislation required 62% of the votes at the council.
As seemed Chirac's intention before the meeting, needling Bush was France's main intention and according to this Reuter's report it was done with the silent assent of other European partners such as Germany. France apparently sees no benefit in its continuing with Nato - and to this lone observer Nato seems to gain nothing from France's continuing membership.
The obvious solution for Nato is hinted at in the linked Reuters report here:
An exasperated Washington suggested that in future if France blocks deployment of the NATO response force the alliance could authorize it via a committee on which Paris has no seat, because it is not part of NATO's integrated military structure.
This is precisely the mechanism France's 25 allies used last year to break a bitter deadlock in the 26-nation North Atlantic Council over reinforcing Turkey's defenses before the Iraq war.
Britain, however has to decide whether to make Nato its defence priority and similarly withdraw from joint European defence arrangements as France should from Nato. It would mark a welcome first sign of realism about Europe from Blair - so don't expect it!
Euractiv gives a good summary of European press reaction to the compromise Commission President linked here
It is probably preferable to start with low expectations in such a post - but so did Prodi and he certainly failed to meet even the lowest expectations! Happily the EU is considerably weakened as a result, only an early death can now save the people of Europe from years more unnecessary economic decline and decreasing democracy. The Constitution provides the opportunity. Perhaps Barroso will be the last in this post!
Prodi statement on his successor As this press statement concludes : The Irish Presidency is one we will long remember. If the constitution goes through, it will long be remembered by the peoples of Europe as putting the final nail in the coffin of their democracies and freedoms!
Brussels, 28 June 2004
Statement by President Prodi on the designation of José Manuel Durão Barroso
It gave me great pleasure to learn that the Portuguese Prime Minister is to be the next President of the European Commission -- first, because of José Durão Barroso's personal merits; second, because it recognises Portugal's constructive participation in the European integration process; and third, because it sends a signal of the European Union's restored unity. This decision underlines Portugal's symbolic value as an EU success story and it acknowledges the abilities of the country's leadership, people and institutions, its productive capacity and its social achievements.
Mr Durão Barroso's designation also gives me pleasure because it demonstrates once more the Union's ability to reach agreement on thorny issues, just a few days after the Constitution was approved. We have gone through some difficult times and other difficulties will surely lie ahead, but we are tackling them in the right way and José Manuel Durão Barroso is the right person to hold this office of great responsibility and sensitivity.
To Bertie Ahern too, who holds the helm of government of another country that represents an EU success story, I offer my compliments for the outstanding diplomatic skill he has shown in bringing the Union to agreement and unanimity on matters of great complexity. The Irish Presidency is one we will long remember.
Jaques Chirac attacked President Bush at the Nato summit according to this report in the Daily Telegraphlinked here.
France's position within Nato must be growing increasingly uncomfortable, and could not have been made any easier by the early handover of sovereignty to Iraq which took place almost concurrently with yesterday's opening meeting.
One has to begin to wonder whether the main driving force for French foreign policy is now solely some degree of personal animosity that Chirac holds for both Bush and Blair.
Eighty eight Declarations of Rights CIG 86/04 that will rob you of your democracy and individual liberty - linked from here in pdf format.
There is only one right worth having and it was that granted under English Common Law - The Right to do as one wished as long as it wasn't expressly prohibited and by long convention which the English used to clearly understand before they became befuddled and deliberately bemused by the Continental concept of 'rights'- as long as it did not harm, inconvenience or discommode others!
Dip into this document and see the legislative lunacy Blair wishes to sign us up for:-
Right to marry and right to found a family!
Right to placement!
No...I cannot continue .... it is just too absurd!
The Blair and Campbell press manipulation is to be re-examined, but what good will that do? The Butler inquiry is straying beyond the bounds the government believed had been set according to The Independent in a reportlinked here this morning, as may be read from this quote:-
The former cabinet secretary has written to the editors of provincial newspapers asking whether Downing Street officials were responsible for briefing about Saddam's ability to use weapons of mass destruction against British targets, such as Cyprus, in 45 minutes.
Lord Butler's letter states: "One of the issues the review committee is exploring is the use of the intelligence in the dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction published on 24 September 2002. One aspect of this is any action taken by the Government to guide the media towards reporting particular aspects of the dossier.
"In that context, it would be very helpful to the committee to know whether you or your reporters were briefed by representatives of the Government about the dossier in the period immediately prior to its publication and whether, post-publication, you were guided to report particular aspects, such as the statement that some chemical and biological weapons were deployable by Iraq within 45 minutes of an order to use them."
If Lord Butler confirms Blair and Campbell as the bare-faced liars they both seem, it will not be any surprise to the general public according to this YouGov poll published in the Telegraph this morning, linked here, which finds only 25 per cent of the country trust their government and even less 22 per cent would trust a conservative one.
As stated on my other blog Ukip Uncovered this morning :-
Examine these figures from the poll which could not possibly paint a clearer picture of the widespread disgust within the country for the professional politicians of all parties who have gorged themselves upon the body politic of our nation and in this parasitical process have drained it of democracy and themselves of any respect.
What the people of the country may now do to rid themselves of these disgraceful individuals who have hi-jacked our democracy - I really don't know! Even those representing themselves as in favour of restoring our democracy and sovereignty step back from the fray when the opportunity to make a real mark arises. Can there now be any doubt that the UKIP, refusing to run in the upcoming by-elections on 15th July, is anything other than an establishment tool to deflect and neuter the justifiable outrage among the public at what the main political parties have wrought upon our nation and its democracy?
This summary from New Zealand is as good a brief report as I have found for those wishing to be well informed on the real agenda of the meetings in Turkey on Monday and Tuesday of this week. The New Zealand Herald: 'Identity crisis splits Nato' by Catherine Field.
An interesting article from one of the more astute observers of the world economic scene Bill Jamieson, in Scotland on Sundaylinked here, who forecasts fallout from the faltering Chinese boom.
One more straw in the wind for the struggling and clearly fatally flawed EU concept whose 'euroland' economy was already struggling to maintain any positive growth at all, any China slowdown will clearly not help.
The Cato Institute, which provides the occasional realistic glances at the people impoverishing and democracy destroying European EU disaster, also has a timely report linked here titled USA and the End of the United Europe of which the following is just one of several controversial points:-
It is feasible that, as a result of troubles with the common currency and rising costs of belonging to the EU, some members may decide that staying in the "club" is not worth the candle. The potential break up of the EU could destabilize the world economy. But it could also provide an opportunity for breaching the transatlantic divide. It is unfortunate that at the start of the 21st century, Europe and North America form two separate trading blocs. The Bush administration could rectify that situation by declaring that, in principle, the North American Free Trade Agreement could be expanded to include interested Europeans thus transforming NAFTA into a North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement.
Senior Blair advisor confirms Charter could change UK Law
Blair's Constitutional startegy is rapidly unravelling. This report from Scotland on Sunday gives legal confirmation of what common-sense told us all along. The 'Charter of Fundamental Rights' will be a huge erosion of British law as well as running completely contrary to the total legal foundations of the nation. The full report may be read from this link.
EUobserver linked here has this even more ominous report on the proposed new EU President's credentials and capabilities:-
External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten, who was earlier candidate for the post, today described Mr Durão Barosso as "extremely capable" recalling when both men worked together as development ministers.
Anyone the incompetent Patten considers as capable - let alone "extremely capable" must be suspect indeed.
Le Figaroherereports Chirac is set on a new collision course with the US President by refusing to let Nato get involved in Iraq. Meantime The Mail on the other hand has this headline:-
"Bush: Iraq feud is over
The 'bitter differences' which divided Europe and America at the time of last year's Iraq war are over, US President George Bush said today. Mr Bush was speaking after an EU-US summit in Ireland at which the transatlantic allies struck a series of agreements to end two years of quarrelling"
Flawed leaders - Clinton and the 'No mark' who now might be confirmed as EU President!
Presumably as Barroso has never achieved anything and few have heard of him, none will object to this appointment. Indeed Bertie Ahern is reportedly seeking unanimity, surely the clearest sign that they have got the wrong candidate! The Independent report on the matter indicates that he is clearly a man of no strong principle, how else could none disapprove? He will presumably, therefore, happily take the EU in whatever direction he is told. But can he be sure of clear unanimous instructions? A quote:-
During his political career, Mr Barroso has made the transition from former Maoist to political conservative. Outside Portugal he has had a low profile, and even at home many observers believe him fortunate to have come to power.
Sounds the perfect candidate to lead such an imperfect organisation. A weak unprincipled Commission President should speed the institution towards its deserved destruction! The entire article is linked here
On imperfect leader's how about this classic quote from Bill Clinton's book launch interview on BBC World (as aired this weekend), on being quizzed on his false evidence on the Lewinskey matter he said that he decided:
"... I should not compound my error by letting these people win"
These people were the lawyers questioning Clinton under oath. Don't you just love it! I do! I haven't laughed so much for ages.
The press release from the summit in Ireland is linked from here.
It will be interesting to see how this fits with recent not very widely publicised reports that Germany is now capable of producing weapons grade nuclear material in apparent conravention of its treaty obligations.
Yet another country is now considering a referendum on the democracy destroying EU Constitution. This report in the Washington Times linked here names Slovakia as considering the possibility, interestingly one of the country's where the exclusion of any reference to Christianity is likely to be unpopular among the broad population.
Finland is amongst those wavering, and with each new announcement the pressure on France to give its people a say gets ever stronger!
Six nations refusing the deal will guarantee its death!
Disappointing statistics once again today from the struggling lead economy of Euroland. The Ifo index fell to a nine month low rather than recording a rise as anticipated. The OECD dropped its forecast for Eurozone growth this year to 1.6 percent from the 1.8 percent it estimated in November.
The pattern of last year seems on track where estimates were steadily cut back so that at year end the forecasts almost matched the approximatel zero growth fiigure actually achieved. The OECD also pared its 2005 growth forecast to 2.4 percent from 2.5 percent.
If this was a Nation State with elected politicians having no EU or ECB to take the blame, might not some corrective steps by now have been taken? Oh the wonders of the EU - and the non-accountable impoverishment its leaders can cause!
Expanding Despotism and Neo-Imperialism - EU vs US
A debate on CNN yesterday chaired by Richard Quest, ostensibly on the topic of the handover of sovereignty in Iraq at the end of this month, raised some interesting comparisons of present EU and US policies.
It was alleged that America was engaged in a form of Neo-Imperialism in Iraq, and the rebuttal was made that if it was to install a liberal democracy and thereafter withdraw that would be hard to criticise. This has of course been the US and its coalition allies claim since the start. It is of course not accepted by the opponents of the Iraq invasion - principally France and Germany who continue to carp from the sidelines to this day.
Yet the US is about to hand-back sovereignty to the Iraqis and plans to eventually provide some democratic foundations are clearly in hand.
Contrast the US action with the EU's expansionists plans described in my post 'The EU's Imperialist and Expansionist Strategy' of two days ago just down the page, with the system of government described by Daniel Hannan in this week's The Spectator, particularly the section quoted in my posting immediately beneath this.
THe US intervened in Iraq to remove a despot who had invaded two neighbouring countries, used chemical weapons against hundreds of thousands of his own people and ruled by brute force, terror and murder and even more importantly thumbed his nose at the combined demands of the UN for a decade and regularly shot up US and British planes, the only nations prepared to try and enforce the declared will of that international body. Now it is doing its utmost to install a liberal democracy as soon as it is able and go home as quickly as it may.
Throughout all this Germany and France have done nothing but criticise, sneer and seemingly almost gloat at every set-back. These two countries, not co-incidentally in my view, are of course the driving forces behind the expansionist EU. They seek to control their neighbours, install a non-democratic form of government and remain for all time. The next nations on their list for take-over apparently include the following (if their advisors publication of the aim of making the Mediterranean an EU sea is to be achieved): Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey.
Having tried to destroy our attachments to our own nation states, decimating our democratic rights and individual protections in the process and replacing them with a planned loyalty to a 'European' heritage represented by the blue flag with yellow stars and sickly 'Ode to Joy', what are they going to tell us and the next targeted Arab nations on their list is our new common heritage? Where will these despotically inclined and clearly power crazed behind-the-scenes conspirers look next - towards the Cape of Good Hope, the Arabian Peninsula or even the Indian sub-continent?
The EU has put in writing its ambitions to expand far beyond its natural known European bounds and there install its new Constitutionally defined form of totally non-democratic Government and thereafer never withdraw! Compare that with what America has attempted in Iraq and it is pretty obvious which is a despotic imperialistic power and who the benign friend to the oppressed.
Arab terrorists considering these facts seem certain to take due note in planning their future activities. Which, against this background, if you were in their shoes - would you consider as the greater mistake: 9/11 or the Madrid bombing, and from which part of the world would come the greater threat?
The nation states of the EU do have one great thing in common - we are led by complete incompetents who are entirely careless of freedom and democracy. Their mad aims openly published now seem certain to make us targets - and worse - possibly slightly justifiable targets for the outrages of militant Islam!
The cover article from this week's The Spectator is linked from here. I quote just this:-
And what about the European Commission? Is it not outrageous that an unelected politburo should have the right — let alone the sole right — to propose new laws? A genuinely democratic constitution would place the right of legislative initiative with accountable national governments. Any state which wanted to propose a common European policy would be free to do so, and invite like-minded governments to join it. The Commission would be left as a civil service carrying out the will of elected ministers.
Centuries of British tradition will be destroyed tomorrow when the Attorney General endorses the 'Charter of Fundamental Rights' and our Common Law heritage disappears. Read the report from Lawyer News linked here as quoted below:-
The Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith QC, will tomorrow (25 June) endorse the Charter of Fundamental Rights which forms part of the new EU constitution.
In his speech, Lord Goldsmith sets out to correct misapprehensions about the Charter, most significantly saying that it sets out principles for human rights rather than displacing existing national laws.
The Charter restates many existing principles, which are already familiar from case law formed in the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights.
Lord Goldsmith was a member of the working party that worked on the original draft of the European Convention four years ago. This draft was then amended to make it suitable for inclusion into the new constitution approved last week by European leaders.
The BBC's Charter and its Producers Guidelines state: "Due impartiality lies at the heart of the BBC. All programs and services should be open minded, fair and show a respect for truth… [BBC reports should] contain comprehensive, authoritative and impartial coverage of news and current affairs in the United Kingdom and throughout the world…"
Bias is not limited to to the matters covered in the above articles. It also exists in domestic political coverage and most aspects of the nation's social arrangements. The BBC presumes to believe itself the national arbiter on most aspects of British society; the blame for many of our society's problems and the lack of open debate on a broad range of the critical issues facing British society can therefore be partly laid at the BBC's door.
The BBC is indeed a national disgrace, letting them establish their own journalistic college can only perpetuate society's problems!
When the heads of government ruled out the two most likely contenders for the post of next Commission President, Belgian PM Verhofstadt and Commissioner Patten (probably two of the least capable senoir EU-involved figures one can imagine, with the possible exception of Neil Kinnock), there never having been any names of substance or weight even publicly proposed, the writing for the EU was clearly on the wall.
As the days pass and the names suggested become ever more obscure, and the rejections are apparently announced even before the invitations, it must be clear to all that the EU endgame is here. Among those reportedly declining so far are two Portuguese, one Luxembourg and one Irish present or past Prime Ministers. Perhaps it will indeed eventually come to Kinnock?
Maybe Chirac with some of his enarques elite (Michel Barnier is reportedly interested in the post) and Schroeder have yet to look down and see the abyss at their feet. (Blair too with his Iraq problems and intellectual shortcomings also seems blissfully unaware of the scale of the looming crisis). Clearly, however, the leaders of the smaller countries have spotted the impossibile contradictions that now lie ahead for the EU.
What other signs may be read to guage the extent of the problem and the timing of a crunch? Here is one I have been watching. Money is the key as ever, and it is the money that will soon run out. The present commission has been making spending commitments as if it owned a farmyard filled with golden geese!
I regularly visit the Europa Midday Express News Releases, as a handy means of keeping an eye on the deranged activities of the Eurocrats. What has in the past years been a steady stream of often futile spending commitments, has in the last few weeks become a veritable torrent of spending promises. It is as if the Prodi Commission, having struggled for the early part of its term to balance conflicting commitments, deferred decisions on all, and now - in its dying moments - rather than make any decisions or let down those whom they have been playing along for so long, has abandoned prudence, thrown their hands in the air and promised everybody all that they had ever asked or indeed could even want.
Take yesterday's report alone, (all figures in Euros) Lithuania 608 million, Estonia 188 million, Latvia 410 million, Malta 34 million, and wait for it -
Structural Funds Strategies for the new Member States: € 24 BILLION to ensure growth and cohesion between 2004-2006
All are aware and can see the obscene profligacy of the EU, all its institutions, its present officials, staff and army of pensioners, its structure and multiple dependent offshoots and leach-like associated organisations.
In return it stifles any prospects of wealth creation, so from where does the money come? Taxpayers, of course, is the answer and clearly our national leaders must surely be continuingly over-generous if not downright profligate in what they have promised for the EU in the immediate years ahead? How else could the Prodi Commission have made so many additional spending promises, especially considering their own excesses!
The opposite is of course the case. Prodi's commission has ALREADY been put on notice of cuts. Apparently such notice has been ignored. Germany battling to curb its budget deficits and still skirting along the edges of recession does not have the funds and in an attempt to reduce the shortfall, has even struggled this week to sell part of its Post Office to its own people at the originally planned price or to the extent it had hoped. Other net contributors are in no better state.
The ambitious half-century dream of a united Europe is now shown to be just that. When will be the crunch. If no new President steps forward maybe next week. If another woolly minded insubstantial yes-man is selected perhaps he will keep the balls in the air until the year end and the final version of the EU Constitution might then just see the light of day. If a strong-minded reformer with a proven track record for prudent economic management were to step forth (and Jose Marie Aznar is the only one who might remotely fit the bill that I can see; his fellow Spaniard Javier Solana unhappily seems to fall into the other category) then maybe there is a slight chance that the free trade area element of the EU could still be saved without years of intervening crisis.
More likely now it seems, some small, apparently disconnected event might be the trigger for the general public finally becoming aware of the monstrous confidence trick their leaders have played upon them - something possibly as mundane as a national football team, say Germany succomb (as just reported) to an early exit from the European Championships! Worse still for all round EU Core malaise, if France were also to shortly join both Italy and Germany in that unhappy state.
The report is from EUBusiness linked here. Unlike in Britain the Spanish PM seems keen to have a vote as soon as possible, as reported last night the Dutch are planning a vote in December or even November - surprising as the final text is not expected to be agreed much before the year's end.
The following is a direct quote from the paper 'Building a Political Europe' presented to President Prodi on 24th April, 2004. The concept was seemingly endorsed as an agreed game plan by Franco Frattini, Italian Foreign Minister on the BBC's Hard Talk programme yesterday as commented upon in an earlier post. This extract is from page 109 of the document linked here
..if the European Union, in half a century's time, is to be one of the poles in the organisation of the world, it will not escape the
fundamental law of large groupings and will have to extend far around its centre. Nobody can imagine that a schoolteacher who, in fifty years' time, will be showing children the major powers on the planet and will circle with a bold line the whole of North and Central America or China and a number of its neighbours but will then take a fine pencil to separate the two sides of the Strait of Gibraltar or the Bosphorus and so define the limits of the European Union. If the Union is to exist at that time, account must be taken of the area in which European exercises its historical responsibility — an area which extends over the entire territory which has been the cradle of our civilisation.
So the Union's vocation is to group together all territories which, from the northern ice to the southern sand, surround the Mediterranean shores — a Mediterranean which we should begin thinking of as our own sea.
Our course is charted by the logic of history, economic coherence, demographic security: what we have to prepare for is a process of extension around the Mediterranean rim. But we have a long way to go. While devoting our everything to the East, we have been neglecting the South. Yet this is the cradle of our culture. This is where the old Europe will get new blood for new generations. This is what makes the Union the only link between East and West. Alexander, Napoleon, our mad colonial ambitions sought to build this unity by the force of arms. That method, odious and cruel, failed, but the ambition was justified. And it still is.
Restoring this unity around the Mediterranean will, of course, be a very slow process, taking many decades. It will take a great deal of patience and many stages. It will require men and women who can look far into the future. It will require major changes on the part of the future applicants. But unless it is capable of organising what goes on around its perimeter and ensure peace and prosperity there, the Union is in mortal danger of being submerged by the distress of enormous masses, who can be carried away by the most warlike ideologies.
This is dangerous nonsense. Does Britain's Government or Foreign Office subscribe to these territorial ambitions? The ambition of Alexander and Napoleon - justified for heaven's sakes? BUT WORSE.... but the ambition was justified. And it still is. STILL ALIVE IN THE HEADS OF THESE EVIL MEN NOW IN CHARGE OF EUROPE? Among the authors, let's not forget, Tony Blair's close associate - Lord SIMON of HIGHBURY (United Kingdom) former Chairman of British Petroleum, former minister for trade and competitiveness in Europe.
Can anyone credit this statement by EU Commissioner and fortunately failed EU Commission Presidential candidate Patten, reported in The Scotsmanlinked from here:
Chris Patten, the European Commissioner, has said Tony Blair’s decision to call a referendum on the EU constitution is a "serious threat" to democracy as referendums "produce tabloid politics"
To cap the article, which seems to reflect a certain element of pique from Patten, I offer this other quote:
Mr Patten, who has been based in Brussels for five years, said that whoever becomes president will have to take urgent action to address the way the commission is perceived by European citizens, warning that the body could become the focus of animosity and suspicion.
A one-time insider informed me that Patten's best known badge of office whilst in Brussels, was a gravy stained tie, hardly likely to enhance the reputation of the Commission for hard work amongst EU citizens.
I fear Oxford University, already suffering in the academic ratings is unlikely to see its reputation enhanced by this choice of Chancellor.
Bloomberg has the report linked here. The Dutch who are presently the main protesters at the repeated Franco/German nose-thumbing at their treaty obligations will have the chance to demonstrate their digust in a non-binding referendum on the EU Constitution likely to be held before the end of this year see this EUobserver report linked here.
Getting value for state asset sales is the latest excuse for likely German non-compliance- watch the sale of part of the German Post Office set for today - the price has already been substantially reduced in the fear that the take-up will be insufficient.
Margaret Thatcher's 'Reflections' at the end of her book The Downing Street Years (Harper Collins London 1993) page 814 gave her thoughts on Germany at the end of her premiership as follows:-
West Germany's absorption of its next-door relation has been economically disastrous, and that disaster has spread to the rest of the European Community via the Bundebank's high interest rates and the ERM. We have all paid the price in unemployment and recession. East German political immaturity has affected the whole country in the form of a revived (though containable) neo-Nazi and xenophobic extremism. Internationally it has created a German state so large and dominant that it cannot easily be fitted in to the new architecture of Europe.
Although the above was stated as an opinion formed fourteen years ago, and now published for some ten years it remains true today. Particularly with regard to the economics. Replace Bundesbank with ECB and ERM with Euro in the first sentence of the quote and it is the exact situation ruling today. Then read my posting immediately below this . Perhaps we should then ask ourselves what kind of leaders do we now have that allow and perpetuate this continuing economic disaster, decade after decade? Britain must cut loose!
Could EU Collapse be the real Constitution Killer?
ANATOLE KALETSKY writing an 'Economic View' in yesterday's The Times titled 'European growth is coming from dubious sources 'linked here reported as follows:-
Thus Mr Blair’s only serious hope of winning a referendum must be that the gloom about Europe will lift in two years’ time. This is unlikely.
If anything, economic perceptions of Europe are likely to get worse. At present, Europe still commands remarkable confidence in the markets. The strength of the euro and the strong performance of the German stock market are obvious indications of this irrepressible optimism. More striking is the almost unanimous view among forecasters that economic growth will recover in the year ahead.
The latest OECD forecasts show eurozone growth accelerating from 0.5 per cent in 2003 to 1.7 per cent in 2004 and 2.4 per cent in 2005. And recently some of this optimism has apparently been justified by hard facts. The eurozone economy grew by 2.3 per cent at an annual rate in the latest quarter, only slightly less than Britain’s 2.7 per cent. Doesn’t this mean the recovery is now finally under way and that Europe could even begin to catch up with Britain in the year or two ahead?
The answer is no. It may be true that euroland has grown in the past three quarters (at an annualised rate of 1.8 per cent), but delving into the statistics shows that most of the growth has come from two very dubious sources: government spending and inventories of unsold goods. Excluding these two components, GDP is still only growing at a pathetic annual rate of 0.5 per cent
The crisis in the Eurozone is of course a regular topic on this blog. It is crucial to the development of the withdrawal debate within the UK. Many British politicians blithely assume the UK discussion on our continuing within the EU will be against a background of the clear economic benefits being on the side of remaining within the bureaucratically strangulated socialist superstate. The opposite is likely to be true.
The growth engines in the world economy now lie in the East. Britain has clear advantages over our European COMPETITORS. Both in language (in the Indian sub-continent) and historical links (bringing in China as well).
The longer we devote our energies to negotiating constitutions, trade links and new regulations with the sclerotic Euroland countries, the more opportinities we will miss in the booming orient and the more our own economy will be dragged into the mire by the clearly doomed EU.
IMO this is the best possible news for those fighting the expansionist EU. The brother's other title, as may be witnessed by the number of links my blogs provide to their other daily paper The Scotsman is entirely devoted to bringing the facts, particularly regarding Europe, as immediately as possible to the public. It will be a huge boost for democracy if the new proprieters somehow contrive to do the same fro the Telegraph titles.
The paper's own report on their new proprieters is linked here.
Slovakia States Constitution is Transfer of Sovereignty
Constitutional lawyers in Slovakia have determined that the proposed EU Constitution means giving up some of their customary decision making powers so a simple Parliamentary majority to approve the Treaty will not be sufficient. The press release is linked from here and quoted in full (with my added emphasis) as follows:-
The approval of the European Union Constitutional Treaty in the Slovak Parliament requires the support of at least 90 of Slovakia's 150 lawmakers, according to Justice Minister Daniel Lipsic. Lipsic's view is based on consultations with the ministry's constitutional lawyers. They stated that the EU constitution represents an international agreement in which Slovakia transfers some of its powers to the European Union. Under the Slovak Constitution, such an agreement must be approved by a majority of 60 percent of all MPs in order to become effective. The EU constitution implies, under the so-called subsidiary principle, that the EU member countries give up some of their customary decision-making powers in areas where the EU mechanisms are prominent. Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda had previously stated that a simple majority of deputies present would be enough to endorse the first European constitution.
How can Blair blindly refuse to accept the basic truths clear to the rest of Continental Europe - AND why does he refuse to use the word CONSTITUTION?
The answer of course, is that like his predecessors before him, he dare not tell the British people the truth!
I am grateful to the anonymous correspondent who sent the information for this report.
A question people must ask themselves; 'Am I susceptible to propaganda?' The only way you can honestly answer this question is to study both sides of the argument with an open and informed mind.
The EU's de Clercq Report 1993 devised initiatives to ensure that:
"...European identity must be 'ingrained in people's minds' as a 'good product' using marketing techniques and that certain social categories, particularly 'women and youth', should become 'priority target groups'. More controversially, it suggested that newscasters and reporters must themselves be targeted, they must themselves be persuaded about European Union...so that they subsequently become enthusiastic supporters of the cause."
A comment on this report and its implications is available from this link to the Bruges Group from here.
The above ties in with a parallel report by the Commission's Media and Culture Directorate, which showed that money has been made available for the media to promote "a more positive line towards Europe".
According to the BBC Annual Report and Accounts 2002/2003 which may be read from this link to a pdf file, there are two outstanding loans from the European Investment Bank to the BBC totalling £91 million.
The European Investment Bank has made two loan facilities available to BBC Commercial Holdings. The first, for an amount of £66million, is available for drawing until March 2005 and must either be repaid in full as a single repayment by March 2013 or on an amortising basis by March 2015.The second, for £25million, is available for drawing until November 2003 and is repayable in one single instalment by November 2007.The interest rate applicable on both facilities is determined with reference to the European Investment Bank's own funding cost and carries no margin above this funding rate. At 31 March 2003 nothing was drawn down under either of these facilities.
Watch this space, and in the meantime cast your mind back to the totally pro-EU bias of nearly every BBC anchor and correspondent over recent years - not noticed by yourself perhaps, well maybe now you have read this it will become more noticeable.
Still not convinced then ask yourself why any organisation would make funds available at their own cost of borrowing, it is an impossible feat that defies all known laws of economics - were it truly achievable. But it is not, rather this is a blatant propaganda subsidy and YOU are the target - more EU anybody?
Italian Foreign Minister Frattini Cannot Justify the EUConstitution
Interviewed this morning by Tim Sebastian on the BBC World TV show "Hard Talk" and faced with a question as to what point the EU Constitution might serve, given it represented a whole raft of new rules, when the old ones were being blatanlty ignored - such as by France and Germany over the Growth and Stability pact - the only justification he could offer was that it made Europe important in the world.
Even when pressed regarding the alternative of reverting to the successful areas of the earlier arrangements, namely a free trade area - 'EUROPEAN IMPORTANCE' was the only justification he could offer. Our democracy is thus being destroyed in the cause of our leader's personal and imperialistic ambitions. The old European expansionist nightmare and menace to the world is once again about to be unleashed from the European Continent. (Read again 'Building a Political Europe' which sets out the targets for the next step in its expansion).
The ordinary people of Europe MUST this time call a halt before it is too late. Reject the Constitution and commence the dismantling of the structures of this non-democratic and increasingly power-crazed institution!
Germany proposes institutionalising 'Inner Core' of EU
This morning's Daily Telegraphlinked here (the announcement of whose new owners we now await with baited breath), carries a report as follows:-
Germany joined France yesterday to insist that Britain and other "non-core" countries should be barred from proposing candidates for president of the European Commission.
Berlin's spokesman, Bela Anda, raised hackles in half of the EU's capitals by suggesting that the post in charge of Europe's policy-making engine be reserved for members of the "Old Europe" club.
"I do not want to formulate pre-conditions but it can hardly be imagined that the commission president will come from a country not taking part in the core areas of EU bodies and its institutions," he said.
If accepted, the demand would institutionalise the sort of two-tier Europe that Downing Street has always feared.
For a while it would allow Germany and France to keep control of the EU machinery despite being part of a minority group within the enlarged bloc of 25 states.
We must hope the new owners of the Telegraph titles are dedicated to the uncovering and dissemination of facts regarding the demise of democracy across Europe, and not join the rest of the Continent's media in the conspiracy to conceal the truth!
(FT OBserver this morning, as we mentioned 'truth' reports that the main failed candidate is apparently another impugning our PM's linked here of which this brief excerpt "Some of them must have lied to me," the distraught Belgian told colleagues. But whom did he mean?
Belgian fingers were yesterday pointing at Blair, who met Verhofstadt in London in the run-up to the summit for a 90-minute heart-to-heart.)
The Financial Times this morning linked here reports the British Prime Minister as stating:-
"...it will be a battle between reality and myth."
Tony Blair and his administration have a seven year track record of deliberately confusing the two; it became known as spin (a euphemism for downright lies) ....Ironies looks forward to playing a part in removing the mirrors, dispersing the smoke and revealing the facts.
Countries and their media far beyond the debate have the possibility to see through the hype and cant and view matters realistically. The following is the start of an editorial this morning from asahi.comlinked herein Japan:-
EDITORIAL: The EU constitution
Multilateral democracy is edging closer to life.
The concept of sharing a constitution with other countries, an initiative unthinkable in Japan, is taking shape in Europe. A proposal for just such a charter was approved by a meeting of European Union leaders last week.
When it comes to the EU, the lion's share of attention tends to focus on the expansion of the region as an economic bloc. We cannot overlook, however, the momentous fact that the union is also striving to deepen its political integration. On that front, the agreement for a constitution is a historic milestone indeed.
The Japanese have here been fooled into believing the European Parliament is a democratic assembly but the rest of their comments correctly reflect the revolutionary nature of what is taking place, which Blair plans to deny by once more resorting to untruths.
The British Prime Minister disgraces the whole nation when he appears on the state controlled broadcasting media, financed through a compulsory levy on every household in the land, and so blatantly distorts the truth. According to that broadcaster's version of Blair's comments, linked here, from which comes this good example of the country's leaders inability to stick with facts consider this quote:-
A majority had believed the UK would no longer be able to have its own asylum policy; that the EU could control British tax rates; and that Britain would have to change its laws on trade unions and strikes.
Mr Blair said all of those beliefs were entirely false.
The poll also showed many wrongly believed the British passport would be replaced by a European one.
Now all the items mentioned are certainly arguable, and no doubt will be debated at length, (visit EUReferendum for much ammunition), but regarding the above, two minutes research shows Article III-167 begins "The Union shall develop a Common Policy on Asylum". Has our supposed leader even read the document he has committed us to?
On the passport matter trickery seems afoot; the original reference in Article III 9.2 does seem to have been removed but the preamble clearly states:-
It places the individual at the heart of its activities, by establishing the citizenship of the Union
Article I-8 covers all the entirely offensive aspects of citizenship, implying that these low-lifes somehow have the right to legislate on their fellow human beings' rights to life, freedom to move about etc.etc. Never forget if people now proven to obscenely rip off their tax-paying fellow citizens in the manner disclosed on my posting of yesterday on Teetering Tories are allowed to continue with the kind of conceits that the right to life is somehow within their gift; what will they not be capable of now they have already destroyed our democracies and thus established themselves as a self-perpetuating totalitarian oligarchy.
The passport provisions were a full part of the Nice Treaty which Blair negotiated and agreed but were the subject of some legal challenges. To now try and indicate these procedures never existed is completely disingenuous!
Blair or the EU legal advisers must have had them removed and our PM has used the opportunity to score this cheap debating point. He should now be asked if the plans for the EU Biometric passports are now to be withdrawn and the horrid little maroon star embossed object is going to be replaced by the proper British hard cover passport of old! Of course it isn't, this is but one more trick by a master of deceit. Does he really expect us to believe this removal of mention of passports is anything more than a devious trick? It truly shows the nature of the man and his government and all those who seek to impose this EU nightmare upon the nation.
The Scotsman report linked here on the interview has this statement :-
'The treaty would not even be drawn up in its proper form before the end of the year.'
We shall see if the EU passport is still not mentioned in the final version!
PS ADDED NEXT MORNING 22nd June 2004. "Interesting to see Mark Steyn take up my point on passports in this morning's Daily Telegraphlinked here! Do I have a new and renowned new reader or is it just that "great??" minds think alike?
Blair, branded a blatant liar by any close analysis of the Hutton Report as detailed in this blog on 31st January last linked from here and titled 'Blair's Hong Kong Flight Denial', now takes his particular form of persuasion to the public via the TV studios on the topic of the Democracy Destroying EU Constitutional Treaty.
ITV.com linked here and even Irish TV via RTE news from here. We will add something from the BBC when it is received as no doubt it soon will.
Believe not one word he says - read the posting on Teetering Tories this morning titled 'Conservative naivety and politician's plundering' to get a grasp of Blair's true motives...hundreds of millions of pounds going straight from EU taxpayers into the pockets of the political parties of Europe. Funds used to maintain them in power so that they may destroy our democracy and apparently ensure we slowly lose the powers we once had to see them removed! Even now all we can apparently do is swap one group of political plunderers for another - that is why the Constitution MUST be halted and Britain must destroy or withdraw from the present arrangements.
Great news indeed is this coming from Poland, as revealed last evening in this report from EUBusiness linked here. As I indicated last night the refusal by Europe's arrogant elite to give any grounds on the Christianity issue, could become a major factor in getting the half dozen states necessary to refuse ratification.
The Independent on Sunday reports 'Even the Pope added to criticism of the 300-page document, agreed in the early hours of yesterday morning, for its absence of any reference to religion.' in an article linked here. The Pope's statement - confirming our prediction of last evening when we stated possibly even the backing of the Vatican - will have particular weight in Poland of course!
Opposition in Britain appears pretty solid with two polls quoted in a report from Reuters linked here.
A YouGov poll for the Sunday Times showed voters would reject the constitution by 49 percent to 23 percent. And an ICM poll for the cross-party Vote No campaign shows 57 percent opposed it.
Another poll cited by the Observer showed 69 percent of voters thought the deal gave too much power away over jobs, living standards and asylum policies.
The 'Independent' article linked above ends with this paragraph:-
But Joaquin Navarro-Valls, a Vatican spokesman, expressed regret "for the opposition of some governments to the explicit recognition of Europe's Christian roots".
Ireland Online linked from here announces the launch of Britain's Business backed 'NO' campaign to the EU Constitution:-
Michael Spencer, head of ICAP, the world’s largest money broker, said: “The constitution means transferring more control from Britain to the EU.
The Scotsman also has an article detailing some further mounting opposition linked here - not forgetting the Daily Telegraph editorial from this morning, titled ' Signing the constitution is Mr Blair's big blunder'linked here.
Also do not miss the editorial in The Sun which is quoted in full in one of many of our other posts of today further down this page, or by now perhaps on the latest archive files.
The democracy destroying EU Constition will be dead in the water if six of the existing Member States fail to ratify the 'Tyranny-Imposing Treaty'.
Britain should certainly be one, the campaign must now begin to convince the electorate of the other five. In case of setbacks it would be best to target a couple of extra for luck. Obvious candidates:-
(One or two of the Baltic Republics perhaps?)
Perhaps even The Netherlands or potentially France! - if only as a registration of the electorate's disgust with the increasingly unpopular Chirac?
There is everything to play for because we have all our democratic rights and individual liberties to lose! The document provides all the ammunition that we could wish - possibly even the backing of the Vatican in certain strongly religious countries!
This linked EUBusiness report gives a summary which is titled 'EU wakes up to new constitution battle' linked from here.
Two questions I started with in my initial review of the revised Treaty,and the answers which I found. FIRST - Will it ever end? ......... NO SECOND - Can we get out?..... NOT WITH ANY ASSETS!
The sections that cover these vital matters are quoted herewith, but first a quick look at where we will stand as a NATION when we say NO:-
4. If, two years after the signature of this Treaty, four fifths of the Member States have ratified it and one or more Member States have encountered difficulties in proceeding with ratification, the matter shall be referred to the European Council.
This Treaty establishing the Constitution is concluded for an unlimited period.
Article IV-7a (b?-ed)
1. Where Part III provides for the Council to act by unanimity in a
given area or case, the European Council may adopt a European decision
authorising the Council to act by a qualified majority in that area or in that
This paragraph shall not apply to decisions with military implications or those in the area of defence.
2. Where Part III provides for European laws and framework laws to
be adopted by the Council according to a special legislative procedure, the European Council may adopt a European decision allowing for the
adoption of such European laws or framework laws according to the
ordinary legislative procedure.
3. Any initiative taken by the European Council on the basis of
paragraphs 1 or 2 shall be notified to the national Parliaments of the
Member States. If a national Parliament makes known its opposition
within six months of the date of such notification, the European decision referred to in paragraphs 1 or 2 shall not be adopted. In the absence of opposition, the European Council may adopt the decision.
NOTE WELL - If no objection is lodged within six months, all future national parliaments will then become bound to the Qualified Voting for all time.
This clearly only leaves WITHDRAWAL for a national government wishing to restore democracy, this leaves them at the mercy of Article 59:-
Voluntary withdrawal from the Union
1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the European Union in
accordance with its own constitutional requirements.
2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European
Council of its intention; In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article III-227(3); it shall be concluded by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.
3. This Constitution shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.
3a. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European
Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in Council or European Council discussions or European decisions concerning it.
A qualified majority shall be defined as a majority of two thirds of the members of the Council, representing the participating Member States, comprising at least three fifths of the population of the participating Member States.
4. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to re-join, that
request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article I-57.
Article III - 227 (3) states:-
3. The Commission, or the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs where
the agreement exclusively or principally relates to the common foreign and security policy, shall submit recommendations to the Council, which shall authorise the opening of negotiations and, depending on the subject of the agreement envisaged, nominating the Union negotiator or leader of the Union's negotiating team.
QUESTION - IF THE BRITISH PEOPLE GET THEIR REFERENDUM ON THIS ANTI-DEMOCRATIC DOCUMENT AND THEY ARE CRAZY ENOUGH TO VOTE YES - (or the Government manipulates the democratic procedures in such a way that their desired result is achieved) COULD A SUBSEQUENT DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT ON WINNING A PARLIAMENTARY MAJORITY THEN WITHDRAW FROM THIS TOTALITARIAN NIGHTMARE?????
ANSWER - YES BUT - IT WOULD BE TOTALLY AT THE MERCY OF THESE GRASPING, SELF-MOTIVATED EUROPEAN STATES WHO FOR FIFTY YEARS HAVE PROVED THEY ONLY CARRY THEIR OWN NARROW SELF-INTERESTS INTO EU MATTERS. THE WITHDRAWING NATION WOULD THEREFORE BE CERTAINLY BANKRUPTED AS A RESULT.
Our nation would be as bereft of economic viability and life as our seas now are after 30 years of EU pillaging!
We will return to the other detail but NEVER FORGET WHEN ARGUING THE DETAIL ON THIS GRAVE MATTER - the lack of democracy is the real danger!
John Humphries and Neil Kinnock demonstrated how easy it is to get side-tracked into ridiculous and irrelevant detail on the Radio 4 'Today' programme this morning. Jobs, inward investment etc. etc., are important matters - losing centuries of democratic rights strikes me as far more critical and important!
IF Tony Blair thinks he will be welcomed home from Brussels in triumph, he can forget it.
However much he may have put up a fight with the French, he has still agreed a deal which has made this country a partner to a European constitution.
And the overwhelming message from the elections and from Sun readers is that the public don’t want any part of it.
He will crow that he has protected his red lines on tax, defence and foreign policy.
But how can it be in Britain’s interests to embrace a treaty which is so dangerous that we have to be protected from parts of it?
Remember, you don’t get anything from Europe without giving away something in return.
We know Britain has lost its right to veto more than 40 issues.
What we may not know for some time is what else Blair has signed away.
The devil is usually in the small print. But with the contradictory and confusing European constitution, what it DOESN’T say is as important as what it does.
There are many, many areas in which there is either no policy or only a vague ideal.
Brussels will have the right to fill those vacuums and the European Court will be able to impose its will on our courts and our Parliament.
Blair has agreed that EU law has supremacy over British law.
And we are still saddled with the disastrous agricultural policy, which forces up food prices, the fisheries fiasco, the charter that brings back the right to strike and a thousand other things that will make Europe work against British interests.
There are positives to draw from this summit, however unhappy we are with the outcome.
There is a clear rift between New Europe and Old Europe.
The emerging former Communist countries, led by Poland, do not want to have their new-found flexible economies strangled by being forced into the straitjackets so loved by France and Germany.
That bodes well for the EU’s future.
Now Blair has to steer this treaty through Parliament and then persuade the public to vote for it in a referendum.
We cannot believe Britons will give away a thousand years of their sovereign independence.
The IGC amendments to the EU Constitutional Treaty
The agreed version of the IGC document may be read, downloaded and printed from the link below.
Ironies views on the detail of the proposed Constitutional Treaty will be posted when the complete text is available.
One fact only makes the Constitutional Treaty completely unacceptable:-
IT DESTROYS FOR ALL TIME OUR RIGHTS TO PERIODICALLY REPLACE THOSE WHO RULE US IN THE EU - WHILE GIVING THESE NON-REPLACEABLE APPOINTEES THE POWER TO CONTINUALLY AND UNREMITTINGLY INCREASE THEIR AREAS OF CONTROL - THE INEVITABLE RESULT IS NON-DEMOCRATIC TOTALITARIANISM!
I link an Irish report (here)of the agreement as it seemed the most appropriate.
We will await the portions of the agreement that the Council of Ministers has agreed should be made public to be issued then provide links and comment. We understand portions of the democracy-destroying deal will never be made public - this is indeed a dreadful day for civilisation which for centuries and piece by painful piece has strived to give power to the many over the corrupt and power-crazed few and provide protections for the weak against the strong, through the right of the ruled to periodically remove their rulers!
All that is now destroyed in Europe by a group of cunning and devious men in the space of one single half-century, which itself followed the bloodiest half-century struggle to overthrow oppression that the world had ever known.
My generation has betrayed all who went before and the dreadful consequences will now have to be paid by those yet to come. There is only one alternative, educate and inform the entire European population as to the complete loss of their most basic democratic right, the power to remove those who rule over them, and ensure this document is never ratified and the organisation that is attempting to perpetrate such a massive fraud against the people of Europe is utterly destroyed.
As I type, Bertie Ahern reports that this dreadful, anti-democratic document has been agreed. It should perhaps be best viewed, with Blair's agreement to a referendum, as the document that will eventually become the passport to Britains removal of the yolk of this increasingly totalitarian, corporatist, authoritarian, impoverishingly over-regulated and corrupt super-state.
A sad night for freedom, but perhaps the final absurd arrogant denial of Europe's citizen's rights and interests that will bring this half-century mightmare to an end. Incredibly it is put about in Brussels, that following the expression of the voters of this Continent's disgust for the EU and its existing governments last weekend, our leaders felt 'compelled' to show their solidarity by rushing to agree and sign this entirely unsatisfactory document- one that tightens the iron grip of state control over their people's few remaining liberties!
No new EU President has been agreed. As the present holder of that office now mouths his usual platitudes, one hopes no more than one more will ever be needed.
Blair's capitulations will be posted here in detail in due course.
Nothing in the dispute over the rights and wrongs of the invasion of Iraq can be brought to justify what has just happened in Saudi Arabia.
But what a relief that if things continue to deteriorate in that country, the civilised world at least now has a strong foothold in Iraq where we are trying to bring democracy to that country's population after suffering years of tyranny. Our lifestyles do depend upon oil, that is an unarguable fact, we therefore need to ensure the Middle East does not go up in flames nor fall entirely to radical fundamentalism!
What the leaders of those countries that are contributing to that effort in Iraq: Britain, Italy, Poland, Denmark etc. etc., should now be asking themselves, is perhaps this:-
Why are they sitting across a negotiating table and making concessions to the likes of Chirac and Schroeder, who give every impression of being smugly content to sit back and let these outrages continue, while possibly hoping that some NATIONAL political advantage might eventually be obtained in the ensuing chaos.
What sort of allies are these - more pertinently WHAT, if any, principles do they hold and under what belief system do they operate - we know it is not a Christian one from their stubborn refusal to have any reference to religion or spirituality put into their sick constitution....so what is it that they do believe, and what exactly is their objective?
I find what happened appalling, I believe such acts happen partly because of the policy stance of France and Germany. I believe these countries are doubtful allies and as such can hardly be considered worthwhile partners - let alone friends!
While the leaders of the 25 nation EU continue to discuss how best to take their clearly failed and disastrous EU experiment forward, closing their eyes to all the evidence of its failure and the disgust it has created amongst the voters of Europe just last weekend; this news from the supposed powerhouse economy of the eurozone was issued:-
A total 3,755 German companies went bust in March, 10.6 percent more than in the same month the previous year. And including the number of private individuals who were also unable to pay their debts, the total number of insolvencies in Germany jumped by 28.8 percent to 10,829 in March, Destatis said in a statement.
What exactly do these supposedly intelligent and competent people, all leaders of their own countries, possibly imagine they are playing at?
Slovakia insists on re-opening Preamble to discuss Christianity
The Slovakian news agency has just issued the following (linked here):-
Fri 18 Jun 04, 16:15
At the EU summit in Brussels on the European Union's constitution, Slovakia again opened the preamble although this part of the document was declared closed by the Irish presidency. Slovak Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda suggested that the preamble should refer to the Judeo-Christian roots of Europe. He was supported by his counterparts from Poland, Austria, Lithuania, Malta and Italy.
This could be a simple ploy for domestic consumption in Slovakia, or it could drag matters out well into the evening. Reports presently indicate the meeting's atmosphere has improved and that an agreement looks near.
NO FURTHER CONSTITUTION DILUTION - is the warning. It is cleary aimed at British attempts to ensure the 'Charter of Fundamental Rights' (anathema to any free-born Englishman - previous Beano supplement to Blair) does not have precedence over English Law (particularly pertinent to the 'right to strike').
EUBusiness has now posted confirmation of this report linked here Watch this space!
After Chirac made his dissatisfaction with Britain's position public last evening, Tony Blair this morning authorised his spokesman to make public his own displeasure and annoyance. Blair let it be known that in his view the EU consists of 25 nations not just two, and certainly not only one - that being the one led by Jaques Chirac of France.
No agreement has been reached on the next President, but discussion has been deferred and will only be resumed if time allows this evening after agreement on all the outstanding constitutional details, some of which are summarised in our post below.
The document with the constitutional amendments now being negotiated in the summit in Brussels, may be read from this link.
A summary of the voting provisions by Euractiv is linked here.
The following seem some of the major points of interest:-
Article I-25: The European Commission
2. Union legislative acts may be adopted only on the basis of a Commission proposal, except where the Constitution provides otherwise. Other acts shall be adopted on the basis of a Commission proposal where the Constitution so provides.
3. The Commission's term of office shall be five years.
4. The Members of the Commission shall be chosen on the ground of their general competence and European commitment and their independence shall be beyond doubt.
5. The first Commission appointed under the provisions of the Constitution shall consist of one national of each Member State, including its President and the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs who shall be one of its Vice-Presidents.
6. As from the end of the term of office of the Commission referred to in paragraph 3, the Commission shall consist of a number of Members, including its President and the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs, corresponding to two thirds of the number of Member States.
They shall be selected among the nationals of the Member States on the basis of a system of equal rotation between the Member States. This system shall be established by a European decision adopted unanimously by the European Council on the basis of the following principles:
Article I-26: The President of the European Commission
2. The Council, by common accord with the President-elect, shall adopt the list of the other persons whom it intends to appoint as Members of the Commission. They shall be selected, on the basis of the suggestions made by Member States, in accordance with the criteria set out in Article I-25(4) and (6) second subparagraph.
The President, the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs and the other Members of the Commission shall be subject as a body to a vote of approval by the European Parliament. On the basis of this approval the Commission shall be appointed by the European Council, acting by a qualified majority.
DEFINITION OF QUALIFIED MAJORITY VOTING
1. A qualified majority shall be defined as 55% of the members of the Council, representing Member States comprising at least 65% of the population of the Union.
However, the qualified majority shall also be attained if the negative votes are cast by fewer than four members of the Council.
2. By derogation from paragraph 1, when the Council is not acting on a proposal from the Commission or from the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs, the qualified majority shall be defined as 72% of the members of the Council, representing Member States comprising at least 65% of the population of the Union.
[3. Abstentions shall not be taken into account when counting the total number of Council members and of population.]
THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
1. It is considered appropriate to adopt provisions allowing for a smooth transition from the system for decision-making in the Council by Qualified Majority as defined in the Treaty of Nice and set out in Article 2, paragraph 2 of the Protocol on the transitional provisions relating to the institutions and bodies of the Union annexed to the Constitution, which will continue to apply until 31 October 2009 and the voting system foreseen under Article I-24 of the Constitution, which will apply with effect from 1 November 2009.
2. It is recalled that it is the practice of the Council to devote every effort to strengthening the democratic legitimacy of decisions taken by qualified majority.
3. It is judged appropriate to maintain the present Decision as long as is necessary to ensure smooth transition to the new voting system foreseen in the Constitution,
If members of the Council, representing:
(a) at least 30% of the population of the Union, or
(b) at least 40% of the Member States,
indicate their opposition to the Council adopting an act by a qualified majority, the Council shall discuss the issue.
The Council shall, in the course of these discussions, do all in its power to reach, within a reasonable time and without prejudicing obligatory time limits laid down by Union law, a satisfactory solution to address concerns raised by the members of the Council referred to in Article 1.
To this end, the President of the Council, with the assistance of the Commission and respecting the Rules of Procedure of the Council, shall undertake any initiative necessary to facilitate a wider basis of agreement in the Council. The members of the Council shall lend him their assistance.
MEASURES RELATING TO EXCESSIVE DEFICITS
Article III-76 (6)
6. The Council shall, on a proposal from the Commission, having considered any observations which the Member State concerned may wish to make and after an overall assessment, decide whether an excessive deficit exists. In that case it shall adopt, on a recommendation from the Commission, recommendations addressed to the Member State concerned with a view to bringing that situation to an end within a given period. Subject to paragraph 8, those recommendations shall not be made public.
Within the scope of this paragraph, the Council shall act without taking into account the vote of the member of the Council representing the Member State concerned.
A qualified majority shall be defined as the majority of the other members of the Council, representing Member States comprising at least three fifths of the population of the participating Member States. --------------------------------
EXPLANATIONS RELATING TO THE CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS
5th paragraph of the Preamble
Article II-52: Scope and interpretation of rights and principles
7. The explanations drawn up as a way of providing guidance in the interpretation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights shall be given due regard by the courts of the Union and of the Member States.
Declaration for incorporation in the Final Act
concerning the explanations relating to the Charter of Fundamental Rights
The Conference takes note of the explanations relating to the Charter of Fundamental Rights prepared under the authority of the Praesidium of the Convention which drafted the Charter and updated under the responsibility of the Praesidium of the European Convention, as set out below.
Howard blew the election for Nothing? Call for Aznar
As just posted on Teetering Tories and immediately below, it appears the decision on the new Commission President might prove impossible at the present summit.
The first consequence of such an outcome is to throw yet further questions on the decisions and policies of the leader of the British conservative party, Michael Howard. It seems he has figured that as it appears the EPP group has the turn to choose the next Commission President, ie from the centre right as opposed to the socialist left from whence Prodi sprang, Howard must have figured he would stay within and use that group long enough to get his old cabinet colleague, the incompetent Chris Patten, into the Presidency in spite of his mutliple inadequacies for such a postion (see our posting of last evening further below or on the most recent archive file).
What now? The best candidate from the Centre Right in Europe is clearly Jose Marie Aznar as this blog has been stating for an age. Is he interested - if not how come? Chirac and Schroeder having rejected Patten on the grounds that he is from a country not within the Eurozone - can now hardly argue that Aznar is unacceptable on the grounds that he took the wrong position over the Iraq invasion - well they can of course, but not with any logic or justification.
As for Howard - he has caused a virtual revolution amongst the grass roots of his own party, boosted UKIP to 12 MEPs, and now faces a complete split among his remaining MEPs if not a breakaway by MPs too.
All in the cause of promoting Patten apparently - Pathetic!
The Chinese news agency (linked here) reports a 'positive' atmosphere at the EU Council meeting, according to Bertie Ahern who it states :-
... said he was not "over optimistic" over finalizing the EU Constitution Friday but vowed to "try to move from stage to stage."
On Wednesday evening, Ahern circulated two documents containingnew and revised IGC proposals to all EU delegations ahead of Thursday's summit.
The first paper includes proposals on the scope of qualified majority voting and on the more technical and non-institutional issues.
The second paper contains Ahern's own proposals on voting in the EU Council, European Commission and the European Parliament.
'The Scotsman'here develops its report of the rift between Blair and Chirac, first reported and linked from the blog last evening. Making this statement its key quote:-
"The ambitions foreseen [for the constitution] are reduced - especially on tax and social security - by the clear position of one country, essentially, the United Kingdom," - Jaques Chirac, French President
The EUBusiness report linked here, from which I took the quote for this posting's title, details the problem areas and cause of dispute and bitterness as :-
- the next President (all presently available candidates clearly lack the qualifications or the ability - making agreement seem unlikely and furthermore totally undesirable)
- the voting
- the Franco/German attempt to re-write the deficit penalty procedures (thus avoiding the consequences of their repeated and deliberate breaches of the Growth and Stability Pact - if they succeed the original concept of the EU will be a dead letter, and it will clearly be pointless continuing. This will present countries within the Eurozone the headache of deciding whether to accept Franco-German hegemony in a tighter totalitarian, non-democratic core Europe OR go thorugh the temporary chaos of re-introducing an independent currency....nasty choice...thank goodness Britain kept the pound...even Blair must be twigging onto that by now!).
The BBC reports that Jaques Chirac has accused the British of conducting negotiations in a spirit 'outside that of the EU'. THe eurosceptic poll victory of last week has finally given a British Prime Minister the nerve to suggest we might have an interest beyond that of France and Germany perhaps? We shall see.
The latest report from The Scotsman is linked from here, the following is a quote:-
He said the whole enterprise was in danger of being blocked by one country – contrary to the spirit of the kind of EU the constitution is supposed to bring about.
Just to rub it in, he dismissed the notion that a Briton – Chris Patten – would be acceptable as the next president of the European Commission.
“It would not be a good decision to have a candidate from a country that is not participating in all EU policies,” he said.
France was not alone tonight – German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt joined the anti-British assault over tax and the Finns pitched in to object to Mr Blair’s insistence that the constitution’s Charter of Fundamental Rights should not tie the Government’s hands over workers’ rights and social policy.
Many US media sources are reporting the following:-
Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic said yesterday he had presented a list of 1,400 witnesses he wanted to call in his defence against war crimes charges, and demanded that former US president Bill Clinton, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and British Prime Minister Tony Blair be subpoenaed to testify.
UN war crimes judges at The Hague declined to immediately rule on the request, and said Milosevic would "have to provide reasons" for the request in writing.
"Clinton has to appear here. Schroeder, Blair, others, too," Milosevic said at a procedural hearing before he opens his defence case on July 5.
He argued that the former US president, the German chancellor and the British prime minister must be called because they headed their governments during the period of his indictment in the 1990s.
"Please issue an order that they have to appear as witnesses here," he said.
Milosevic said he had 1,631 witnesses in mind and has presented the names of nearly 1,400 of them to the court.
"The most terrible accusations have been uttered here," Milosevic said at a procedural hearing. "The most flagrant lies have been spoken here as well, and the only means to fight that is to present the truth."
Appearing energetic and characteristically defiant despite his frail health, Milosevic told the judges: "I should like here, before the public, to prove that these are all false indictments, false accusations against Serbia, against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and against myself."
Presiding Judge Patrick Robinson cut Milosevic short, warning him against making speeches.
He instructed the former Serb leader to provide more details about witnesses he wants to call, such as their ages and subject of their testimony.
Interesting precedent perhaps for the Saddam Hussein trial.....Now did the UN authorise the bombing of Serbia??? - no that was NATO was it not?
Such is the report in the London Evening Standard linked here:-
The former Conservative cabinet minister and Hong Kong governor had been seen as a rank outsider until this afternoon - opposed by Jacques Chirac because he does not speak French. Mr Blair was expected to give Britain's backing if enough countries joined in.
But there were concerns that Germany would oppose his name in retaliation for Britain rejecting their choice.
"We will actively stand up for Mr Verhofstadt," said a furious German official.
The clash came hours after Mr Blair appeared to be winning concessions on the EU constitution over tax and legal changes that could strengthen militant unions.
EPP PUSH CHRIS PATTEN FOR PRESIDENT AS DEADLOCK LOOMS
The first item on the agenda has already caused deadlock at the European Council meeting it appears, read the (EUBusiness report). The Franco/German candidate has not been rubber-stamped and failed British politician, the self-publicising one-time Governor of Hong Kong (who couldn't properly perform the one important task of his tenure by handing over the colony with a stiff upper lip), is supposedly back in contention.
The same Chris Patten who many consider sold out the brave men and women of the RUC for his cushy and inadequately performed post of EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner where it appears he oversaw massive Palestinian terrorist financing by his department. Personal friend of the Maastricht Trety signing John Major, he is now (probably unsurprisingly when recalling all the foregoing) the choice of the EPP Group which is currently having a 'jolly' in Belgium and hosting its dupe Michael Howard, British Conservative Party leader (for the moment), as thanks presumably for donating many more millions of euros to the EU federalist cause over the next five years.
Seems as if Patten has all the necessary character defects to lead such a totally flawed and useless organisation as the EU Commission, bye bye any prospects of reform for another five years if Patten gets in! Bet he doesn't, though!
'BBC World TV' headlines UKIP Campaign Van on its EU Constitution bulletin.
If Blair signs on to this he will get a very bloody nose, says Nigel Farage to the BBC World audience, from Brussels on the main news bulletin put out internationally by the British state broadcaster at 1500 GMT.
News from the actual constitutional meetings - as usual - comes there none!
The report closes with a good shot of the party poster proclaiming 'Say No to Europe' and a large picture of the British PM.
All eyes turn to Brussels - Dutroux has as expected been found guilty and such announcement was duly made at midday. Many disturbing questions remain.
At 2:00pm the EU Heads of Government began their attempt to agree the VGDE Constitution. The top link on the left may be used to go directly to the European Council web-site where documents will eventually be made available. At present the Irish President's comments are all that is of even slight interest that is available linked here. A letter full of waffle and platitudes from Prodi and an annotated agenda, are also available. The latter merely states the order of business which is as follows:-
The Presidency intends to limit the agenda to the following items:
II. Area of Freedom, Security and Justice
V. Financial Perspectives
VI. Economic Issues and Employment
VII. External Affairs/CFSP/ESDP
Ironies will attempt to bring what news emerges as soon as we can.