Just when you thought the farce that is the EU couldn't sink any lower, they've managed to agree a Covid recovery plan that has angered just about everyone. Spain and Italy are furious because they don't get enough, Germany Austria and the Netherlands furious because they're paying for what they are getting. The French are in a rage with Macron - who is hiding from them in his big gold palace; the Poles and Hungarians are ticked that any money is tied to changing their national mandates for Brussels' ones. The European Parliament is very cross with two of the EU's Presidents, VDL and Charles Michel. The Italians are incensed with Conte, the Dutch with Rutte. The Irish are demented that in Brexit year they will pay more and get less, and the Commission is vexed that Ireland has just won a tax fight against them. I've never known a deal be so successful in pitting so many of the EU's actors against eachother.
Unelected bureaucrats think they're happy because the deal has just ratcheted up federal power and authority, but at the cost of a big hit to public satisfaction, which will grow as the utter inadequacy of the MFF and Covid package becomes clear.
What's even more absurd is that they only got this deal because no-one wanted to go on record for this recent round being the longest ever European Council summit. It just beat the longest, we are told, by fifteen minutes. So glad. Pleased to see it's the PR merchants driving the talks not the national interests of 420m people and 27 nations.
The European Parliament, politico EU reports, wanted a deal €266bn bigger than Michel's starting point; instead they've got one about €130bn smaller. Charles Michel's summary of the summit process - "Europe is united, Europe is present. We have demonstrated that the magic
of the European project works because when we think that it is
impossible, there is a spring in our step thanks to respect and
cooperation." - must surely rank with Lyndon Johnson's 1964 Vietnam pledge that "We are not about to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles away
from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves."
Boy, aren't we glad we left.