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Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Pressure building on EU27 fault lines

At a time when the perception in the UK is of unity amongst the EU27, Mark Rutte, the Netherlands PM, gives a useful interview to Der Spiegel. On the surface it's the usual 'we all stand together' PR piece, but increasingly with the EU27 these days the more they protest their unity, the deeper the fissures are breaking. 

Firstly, there is the split between Jean-Claude Juncker's Commission and the member nations of the EU27. Juncker wants far greater powers for the EU, an army, a finance ministry, EU embassies replacing national embassies, a political Commission with a permanent appointed President and so on. The nations of the EU27, including France and Germany, do not. The fissure has come to a head most recently over two matters too late for the Spiegel interview - the corrupt appointment of Martin Selmayr, Juncker's former gofer, as head of the EU bureaucracy, and Juncker's fawning anilingual congratulations to Putin. Guy Verhofstadt and the EP are genuinely furious about the first, and yesterday Verhofstadt upbraided Juncker for his message to Putin being at odds with the response of individual EU27 leaders. Rutte makes clear he stands with national, and not EU, sovereignty - "Europe must be built upon the foundation of its nation-states, and not imposed upon us by Brussels" he said, and "The Commission should serve the EU members, not the other way around". He is also unhappy that Juncker thinks he has power to break the EU's rules for 'political' reasons - i.e. the solidarity of the EU.
"Juncker is an outstanding Commission president, but when he repeatedly insists that the Commission is political, I have to object. The moment the Commission gives the impression that it strictly ensures that small countries respect the stability pact but does not apply the same oversight to Italy and France, it undermines the rules that we have agreed upon together."
Again, one can only speculate that the commonly heard mantra  "Juncker is an outstanding Commission president but ..." actually means "Juncker is a blundering drunken old fool who's fucked up again". 

Rutte is equally scornful of Franco-German stitchups;
SPIEGEL " was primarily Germany and France that were the driving forces: Gerhard Schröder and Jacques Chirac agreed to suspend the stability pact for their two countries ..."
RUTTE: " ... and then came the sequel a few years later when Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy took their famous beach stroll in Deauville during the euro crisis. Both events sparked a great deal of suspicion and mistrust. When not only Germany and France are in agreement, but also the Commission, then the other EU countries have to be extremely careful."
 Again, events have over-run the print scale; Sarkozy was arrested yesterday for fraud, joining Christine Lagarde and Juncker himself as leading EU figures who have to answer charges of fraud, corruption and criminality. 

One point on which Rutte will find universal agreement with the UK is over the EU's protectionist labour laws. Just as protectionist trade tariffs make EU manufacturing sclerotic and glacial in responding to modernisation - they're years behind in AI, for example - so protectionist EU trade qualification laws prevent Europe's service sector responding to market needs. No English ski instructor can get a job in France, no English hairdresser can style hair in Austria and no English car mechanic change a wheel in Italy. 

Rather than the EU's net contributors paying even more post-Brexit, Rutte wants to see more market deregulation;
"What Europe is missing is not billions more in funding, but rather overdue structural reforms -- including in the service industry. There are currently nearly 5,000 protected professions in the EU and in Germany. This hinders growth, as any economist will tell you."
It also hinders innovation. Hairdressers here must serve a three-year apprenticeship and the result is standardised women's hairstyles that would not be out of place in Soviet east Germany. Girls in their twenties wear the hair of women in their fifties. In the UK any girl of sixteen can pick up a comb and scissors and the result - the disasters aside - is a fashion, music and culture industry of a strength and vibrancy that poor protected EU27ers can only dream about. We really are better off out. 


Cuffleyburgers said...

Morning Radders. I think you are right about the cracks appearing under their facade of unity, but what Rutte is saying is no more than British remainers have been saying for years - about sovereignty and what is needed is this or that - the fact is that the EU was invented to be like it is, Juncker in those few hours of lucidity granted to him between gis breakfast brandy and a long luncheon was merely stating correctly the EU's fundamental and unchangeable direction.

It is about time that people like Rutte moved on from helpless whinging to saying outright "the EU is a dangerous structure that is costing the People of Europe dear in terms of cash, libert and security, and we have to abolish it"

That will be the tipping point, when suddenly it becomes ok for these talking heads to talk in these terms.

In truth I sense we are not so far away now.

DeeDee99 said...

Rutte can say what he likes: until he follows the British example and holds an In/Out Referendum the EU, Merkel and Macron won't take any notice.

(Can't read Der Spiegel interview as I'm not deactivating my ad-blocker on their instructions!)

rapscallion said...

"Girls in their twenties wear the hair of women in their fifties. In the UK any girl of sixteen can pick up a comb and scissors and the result - the disasters aside - is a fashion, music and culture industry of a strength and vibrancy that poor protected EU27ers can only dream about."

That's a very telling point, and is a proxy for the entire EU. When you start to disgorge regulation after regulation to protect something, you effectively ossify it. We had a similar occurence in the 1970's. Yes, the unregulated, uncontrolled method can be anarchic, with it's numerous disasters, but what you do end up with is a vibrant, responsive economy.

Concur with DeeDee99. Rutte can gob off till the cows come home, but nothing will happen until he actually does something that makes them sit up and take notice.

Anonymous said...

Good Morning,
I'm sorry to say your logic is faulty. Juncker is doing EXACTLY what he's told to do. The EU is a bureaucracy and as we all know, bureaucrats lover their perks and pensions and that must be paid for; so who is the paymaster and who calls the tune? I think every reader here can answer that.
Rutte seems to have at last understood, but his bleetings will fall on deaf ears, and the lovely Netherlands will become just a useful seaport province for Greater Germany.

Stephen J said...

How many qualifications does a European fisherman need in order to take fish out of British waters is a question that comes to my mind at this moment?

Apparently,Mrs. Maydenhead along with the rest of her treacherous tory scum think that the answer to that one is NONE.

Not only are we paying some inordinate sum to look after the pensions of a bunch of fraudulent EU politicians, we are also sacrificing around £7 billion per year and even further degradation of our coastal towns and cities, to get a DEAL. That is what Aaron Brown was explaining last night on LBC in an interview with Nigel Farage.

What is this deal, that the politicians of this country seem to think are so vital to our wellbeing?

What is being protected?

... 12% of our trade is outside of these islands and 40% of that 12% is with EU countries, which puts this whole pack of lies into perspective...

For this, our treacherous elected politicians are prepared to forego 1000 years of of a slowly maturing and world renowned and emulated constitution.'s_Munich_speech_March_2013.pdf?1521545923

Prepared to give the EU our borders...

Prepared to ruin our (some would say) hopeless state provided health and education services, through untrammelled immigration.

Prepared to set themselves up for a treason trial hopefully very soon.


jack ketch said...

Look down any German high street and you will see the butcher, the baker and the bloody candlestick maker; you'll see an independent Book shop (yes really, they are protected), you'll see pubs, you may even see a small 'mom & pop' grocery store.

Now look down a high street in the yUK...what can you see besides beggars, Charity shops and 'fake' businesses ("The LGBT Drop In Advice Centre", Home Care A Home, those kind of things)? Oh and a Starbucks if you're 'lucky'.

Personally I think the laws (many of which were passed originally by Hitler) protecting large chunks of German Einzelhandel (Retail) are wrong but so far the Germans seem to be doing ok with them.

Anonymous said...

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Of course, taken from the poem, “The New Colossus”, depicted on the US Statue of Liberty pedestal.

And this is how the EU hierarchy see the EU’s future development - a replica of the USA.

The only problem being history - the nations of the EU have thousands of years of it, and America is a product of colonial conquest, and eventual displacement of its indigenous populations.

The EU’s acceptance of “refugees” is no act of compassion, but an intention to imitate the American model (I remember Farage arguing with LibDem, Graham Watson, over the EU’s intention to bring in 75million people from outside the EU)

Nations mean nothing to the EU manipulators, and a country’s people will be disposed of by dilution and their democracy decided - or not - by the same shysters.

Apologies for stating the obvious on your blog, Raedwald - just needed to get it off my chest.

Dave_G said...

My limited understanding of the EU is that:

"unless it's already legislated for, anything you do is illegal"

as opposed to the UK where

"unless it's specifically illegal, you can do anything".

There's a whole world of difference in attitude between the two. And I know which one I want to live under.

But we also hear little (nothing) of concessions made by Europe in our Brexit negotiations. It seems as if it's all 'offered' by the UK.

Rees-Mogg states, when he can, that "little is made of the consequences to the EU in the event of a no-deal scenario" and furthers this with mention of the economic calamity facing the EU if the UK doesn't agree to hand over the billions already 'negotiated'.

This is clear and present proof that the UK holds all the cards - so WTF are we doing making concession-after-concession to that despotic wilderness?

If the public were more informed of this situation I don't think our Government would be able to withstand the criticism levelled a them for their incompetence in the negotiations.

jack ketch said...

as opposed to the UK where

"unless it's specifically illegal, you can do anything"....I know which one I want to live under

Me too but unfortunately since about the time of Blair that has no longer been the case here in the yUK. Now the motto is: "anything that isn't specifically illegal, will be offensive to someone and therefore be illegal by definition". We only have to look to the Speaker's Corner incident last week to see that and it will, after BrexSShite, only get worse.

Budgie said...

Right-writes, Whilst I wholeheartedly agree with the logic of your comment, I think you have our export figures wrong.

The Pink Book published in autumn 2017, gives the latest (2016) figures for trade in Table 9.1. Disregarding investment income, allowing 4% (ONS max guess) of our exports for the Rotterdam effect, and including both goods and services, UK total exports are about 28% of UK GDP. About 11% UK GDP derives from exports to the rEU27, and c17% UK GDP are exports to the rest of the world (RoW). About 72% of UK GDP is purely domestic. Note that if the Rotterdam effect is disregarded, the export figures become c12% to rEU, and c16% to RoW, both % of UK GDP.

It is worth highlighting the fact that we export about 50% more to RoW than to the rEU (inc Rotterdam), and do so under WTO rules. Indeed 98% of global trade takes place under WTO rules. And despite what some Remains claim, the WTO rules cover goods and services.

Remains will also try to kid you that our global trade depends solely on the additional RTAs and MRAs negotiated by the EU. This is a fallacy. Trade deals are negotiated under WTO rules and registered at the WTO, merely modifying the basic GATT and Uruguay WTO rules with reduced tariffs and/or mutual regulatory recognition. It is a piecemeal approach completely at variance to the EU's rigid centralisation.

Going to the original WTO rules would be a (minor) setback, but most other countries are more reasonable than the EU, so will agree mutually advantageous trade deals more readily. Some of the deals may not be needed because we can set our own lower tariffs; some can be novated.

Mr Ecks said...

After Brexit Ketch we only have to fight one gang of cultural Marxist scum not 20 odd ( EE not so bad perhaps) and the Brussels scum on top.

Germany doing well--apart from rape, murder and general takeover.

If you want to do something useful for this nation instead of talking your usual sell-out shite get pressure on your MP over this Count Dankula conviction for a fucking joke.

So should everybody. This is one the cuntz aren't going to get away with.

rapscallion said...

Concur Mr Ecks.

When you can be jailed for telling a joke, no matter how crass and tasteless then you are living in a totalitarian state. For this to happen so soon after banning entry to the UK for Sellner, Pettibone and Southern only confirms it.

Any open dissent will be punished.

jack ketch said...

from this comment on Guidos: 1941: Nazi Germany pursues man for "insulting Hitler" for making his dog do sieg heil salute, but DOES NOT charge him.

2018: UK arrests & convicts man for being "grossly offensive" for making his dog do sieg heil salute, faces a year in prison.

RAC said...

Personally I find islam more grossly offensive than a dog doing tricks and if a nation wide poll were taken I think I would be with the majority.

rapscallion said...

Jack Ketch @ 21 March 2018 at 18:25

What I want to know is what's going to happen to the dog. Is He/She going to be sent down too?

If dog identifies as transgendered, does it/he/she/zhe/zher/whatever, get a "get out of jail free card"?

Just askin'