“EU pulls back from Lisbon goal,” EUPolitics, http://www.eupolitix.com/EN/News/200501/84ad29ce-d444-4894-82fb-1e47991ab22c.htm, 18 January 2005.
“Tsunami-hit Thais told: Buy six planes or face EU tariffs,” by Fraser Nelson, The Scotsman, http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=66782005, 19 January 2005.
Jaque Chirac and others want a “multi-polar world.” A world with many great powers and no super-sized super-power. What sort of great power would Europe be?
Cruel, heartless, tactless
TSUNAMI-struck Thailand has been told by the European Commission that it must buy six A380 Airbus aircraft if it wants to escape the tariffs against its fishing industry.
While millions of Europeans are sending aid to Thailand to help its recovery, trade authorities in Brussels are demanding that Thai Airlines, its national carrier, pays Â£1.3 billion to buy its double-decker aircraft.
The demand will come as a deep embarrassment to Peter Mandelson, the trade commissioner, whose officials started the negotiation before the disaster struck Thailand – killing tens of thousands of people and damaging its economy.
While aid workers from across Europe are helping to rebuild Thai livelihoods, trade officials in Brussels are concluding a jets-for-prawns deal, which they had hoped to announce next month.
As the worldâ€™s largest producer of prawns, Thailand has become so efficient that its wares are half the price of those caught by Norway, the main producer of prawns for the EU.
To ensure the Thais cannot compete, EU officials five years ago removed its shrimp industry from the EUâ€™s generalised system of preferential tariffs – designed to share Western wealth with developing countries by trade.
Slow, inefficient, antigrowth
The European Commission has quietly dropped a five year old EU pledge to make Europe the worldâ€™s most competitive economy by 2010.
An internal Brussels paper drops the target and instead calls for a simplification of economic goals which have ballooned into an increasing number of unrealistic social and economic targets.
The pledge was first made at a Lisbon economic summit of EU leaders in 2000 â€“ with the city giving its name to a sweeping agenda aimed at boosting growth and research investment.
China may eventually be a world-power. This will force the U.S. to respond with ever greater measures, from greater encouragement for savings to political union with our American sister republics. But Old Europe? It’ll be a nice play for a vacation, as long as it avoids Sharia law.