On 14 May, the institutions of the EU agreed to pass a €7.3 billion increase in the 2013 amended budget; an amount which represents just a portion of an overall €11.2 billion increase, with the remaining €3.9 billion to be paid into the budget later this year. This increase was pressed by the European Parliament with Martin Schultz, the President of the Parliament, threatening to derail discussions of future budgets if his demands were not met. It was criticised by many Member States, including Germany and Britain, as ‘irresponsible’.
European citizens, already beset on all sides by the pain of recession and austerity measures, are to pay for this increase for an already bloated institution to throw money around like confetti. Renowned economist Milton Friedman had predicted the collapse of the Eurozone on the basis of its faulty monetary policy. The results are visible today. While Greece burns, the out of touch bureaucrats at Brussels wrangle to fill their pots. Friedman suggests that free markets do not function to the advantage of currencies.
Considering Greece, when they were able to control their currency, they were able to sell their exports at a competitive rate as well as attract tourism by lowering the drachma, but by being locked into the Euro they do not possess this advantage. The chaos that engulfs that nation is the reward that they reap for surrendering their sovereignty and control of their destiny. No other country in the EU should follow them down that pit at the behest of greedy politicians in Brussels and Strasbourg who are blind to the catastrophe of their own making.
As the number of Romanian and Bulgarian migrants surges in the UK, so does antagonism towards the EU all across Europe. France is even more Eurosceptic than Britain according to a Pew survey, at a 41% approval rate, in contrast to the UK approval rate of 43%. Sir Andrew Green of the MigrationWatch estimates that migration from both Romania and Bulgaria will reach 50000 per annum, and the number of migrants from both countries has grown by 14000 a year since they joined. Migrants from the Balkan nations have already taken nearly a third of seasonal farm jobs. In a time of suppressed wages and high youth unemployment, it is no wonder that frustration at the EU is boiling over.
Meanwhile, in Iceland the two parties that came in the lead in their recent parliamentary elections, the Independence Party and Progressive Party, which together won more than half the share of votes, are highly sceptical of the EU, reflecting the discomfort many Icelanders feel about joining the countries application to join the EU. According to The Economist, even in Germany a Eurosceptic party, Alternative fȕr Deutschland, is becoming the anti-establishment voice that is disrupting the consensus. The narrative is being repeated everywhere, but the Eurocrats are not following the plot.
The fanatical devotion of EU technocrats and the pro-Europe political class to the EU project, does little more than reflect their contempt for the political will and desires of the increasingly frustrated and ignored share of the European citizenry. The economic disparities between Member States inflict a burden on jobs, wages, and social services to a degree that many find increasingly intolerable. The people of Europe have realised that they have little to gain from a monetary or political union, and the disadvantages outweigh whatever the benefits the political classes imagine or peddle the existence of.
If you look at the current state of Europe, you see the EU struggling to salvage its plummeting approval rate with an increasingly Eurosceptic population as austerity measures breed contempt and unrest, fiscal catastrophes and unemployment drive the people of Europe into disillusionment with the project entirely. Despite facing the brink of collapse, the European Commission seems to have to the time to pass legislation that bans refillable olive oil jugs and bowls in favour of pre-packaged containers, instead of grasping the issues their union faces. The international organisation that claims as one its objective the support of European culture, now intends to do away with an iconic feature of Mediterranean dining. This baffling move is just another absurdity in a long history of absurd European directives.
It is difficult to see, with all the problems that are plaguing Europe at the moment, why the Commission is focusing on olive oil. The justification they give is ‘consumer protection’, and to ensure that the olive oil diners get is not swapped with an inferior sort. Yet the rest of Europe could do with a display of actual attempts to fix the mess that the Union has inflicted on the Member States. It is profoundly unlikely that olive oil is near the top of the concerns of the people of southern Europe, swarming with riots and protests as it is. This move is as good a display of the deficiency of European ‘democracy’ as any, as well as how out of touch the leadership is from the concerns of the ordinary citizen within the EU.
The government’s position on the EU is all over the place. It’s gimmick after gimmick, trying to fool the public that half-baked promises amount to cast-iron guarantees.
First there was the ‘amendment’ to the Queen’s Speech that didn’t offer a referendum – it just merely expressed regret at the lack of an EU vote. Then today we get the draft bill and that’s it. It’s like seeing your payslip and having to wait 4 years to get paid… if at all.
To us this doesn’t take us closer to an EU referendum. Rather it exposes to us the lengths the government will go to keep us in the EU and defer the vote, giving the EU greater opportunity to cause economic hardship to the UK. Enough is enough – we demand a vote now!
Much has been made of the Tory amendment to the Queen’s Speech next week. It has been reported as an EU Referendum amendment. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The amendment merely states regret at the absence of an EU Referendum from the Queen’s Speech. So pitiful is it that Cameron is expected to vote for it – to vote against his own Queen’s Speech.
What a farce.
Look at all the effort that has gone into tricking the public into believing the government is eurosceptic. This song and dance and political capital being used to rearrange deckchairs all a waste. That energy could have been used to push through a real EU referendum bill.
It sadly seems this government is content to let us pay more to the EU, to let the EU write our laws and control our borders for four more years. That is if you trust Mr Cameron… he has gone back on his word before.