Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Europe - the superpower chronicles 

Karl Rove must be chuckling to himself - well, he must be behind it all, mustn't he? - watching the European project frying, leaders quarrelling, and agendas changing beyond recognition.

Chirac to the British - you suck: apparently unaware that his microphone was on, Jacques decided to crack a few jokes to Gerhard Schroeder and Vladimir Putin at their recent summit: "the President claimed Britain's only contribution to European agriculture was mad cow disease. He then turned to the subject of British cooking. 'We can't trust people who have such bad food,' he said. 'After Finland, it's the country with the worst food.' He also suggested that France's troubles with NATO began after its Scottish former secretary-general Lord Robertson offered him a local Scottish speciality - apparently a reference to haggis - to eat." Great piece of advocacy, as Paris battles London for the rights to host the 2012 Olympics.

Blair to Europe - face the music: "Some have suggested I want to abandon Europe's social model... But tell me: what type of social model is it that has 20 million unemployed in Europe, productivity rates falling behind those of the United States; that is allowing more science graduates to be produced by India than by Europe; and that, on any relative index of a modern economy -- skills, R&D, patents, IT -- is going down not up." That's Tony speaking to the European Parliament last month. He has now called for a summit in October to debate where the "European social model" is going - or, more likely, not going.

Europe to the US - maybe you were right: As the Blue State Conservatives note, very much under the radar the EU has decided that there's such thing as being too green if it keeps screwing your already screwed up economy: "Environmental groups have been angered by a decision by the European Commission to shelve its long-term environmental strategy because of concerns that it would constrict Europe's economy and destroy too many jobs. In an unprecedented change of direction in EU policy, Jose Manuel Barroso, the President of the Commission, ordered the suspension of the air-pollution strategy after he saw an assessment that showed that although it would help to prevent 350,000 premature deaths annually, it would cost businesses and consumers nearly 15 billion euro (10 billion pounds) a year. After a fractious meeting between pro-environmentalist and pro-business commissioners, Senhor Barroso ordered a review of six other strategies due out shortly, on water quality, waste, soil, natural resources, pesticides and the urban environment. The strategies, which have taken years to prepare, propose detailed environmental policies that would have entailed a series of new regulations."

Europe to illegal migrants - good-bye: Not as nice and caring anymore, Europe facilitates quick tours of the continent -– in reverse direction: "Five major European powers plan to jointly ship illegal immigrants back home in a single plane that makes stops in each of their countries, French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy announced on Tuesday. 'Together ... we will organize airplanes to repatriate illegal immigrants from Britain, Spain, Germany, France and Italy,' Sarkozy told a news conference on the final day of talks between the group of Interior Ministers, known as the Group of Five. The plan will allow the five countries to combine political and financial efforts to control illegal immigration, Sarkozy said, adding that the joint repatriation effort was proposed by Spanish Interior Minister Jose Antonio Alonso." Shame on Spanish Socialists for leading the efforts. What's next? Socialist Minutemen (or, seeing it's Europe, Fortyfivesecondsmen) patrolling the borders to make sure that illegals aren't sneaking in?


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