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EU Meltdown

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posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 10:35 PM
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UK or France to blame?

It looks like a crisis for the EU

'EU 'in crisis' over talks failure

The French president was scathing about the British stance
The EU is in "deep crisis", says its current President Jean Claude Juncker, after budget talks broke down over a bitter row between the UK and France.
France condemned the UK for rejecting a deal to have its EU rebate frozen.

President Jacques Chirac said he "deplored" Britain's "pathetic" desire to "keep the entirety of its cheque".

Britain argued that any deal must be linked to reform of EU farm subsidies - but France, the biggest beneficiary of those subsidies, rejected this.'

news.bbc.co.uk...


We have a point:

UK net contribution E2.8 Bn
Holland E2 Bn

France E1.9 Bn

France, of course, has the additional benefit of Bn's of EU euros poured into their innefficient agricultural masses.


Anyway, where now for the dream?




posted on Jul, 2 2005 @ 02:08 PM
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Originally posted by CTID56092

We have a point:

UK net contribution E2.8 Bn
So what? Germany pays several billion of euros to the budget. So it's Germany who has the right to decide about the EU budget, not the UK.

Originally posted by CTID56092
France, of course, has the additional benefit of Bn's of EU euros poured into their innefficient agricultural masses.

They are not inefficient.


[edit on 2-7-2005 by AtheiX]



posted on Jul, 2 2005 @ 02:53 PM
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I'm certainly not an expert on European politics, but I don't see this as a crisis. I feel certain that, in time, they will hammer out an agreement.



posted on Jul, 2 2005 @ 05:31 PM
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Those who think they can further their political ends by talking up a crisis as much as possible, will.

That is all.

Both sides in this debate have people who think this will profit their point of view so you'll find a weird alliance of the UK right-wing 'Euro-sceptics' and the French 'Euro-enthusiasts'.

The truth is more mundane; the fact remains that it's in our interests to work this out and, after much horse-trading - even some of it that might get heated, we will.

I think anyone seriously trying to claim the EU is in 'meltdown' is simply projecting their own politics.



posted on Jul, 2 2005 @ 05:37 PM
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Yes, I totally agree, as an outside observer. And as someone who does have a vested interest in this outcome.

How many years has this thing been in the making? It's not gonna blow up and go away. Everyone in the west has a vested interest in this outcome. Do we not? We are talking about one of the world's most powerful trading blocs. If not now, then definitely in the not-so-distant future.



posted on Jul, 5 2005 @ 01:59 PM
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Sorry but I think the EU is a couple of elections from doom. Shroeder and Chirac are losing popularity in their respective nations and their economies are lagging. I don't find it hard to picture a hard-line economic reformist coming to power in either country and puting the freeze on EU contributions and participation. I speculate that a reformer would want to rework taxes and social programs, spending and currency valuations, and thus consider breaking EU rules to bring a turn around to an economy. Once one major player does it others will follow. I'm not saying they would just "drop out" of the EU, but rather just ignore the rules untill it becomes apparent that they have no intention of complying.

On a personal note; I don't know where the european's are trying to take the EU. Is it a trading pact? A political Pact? A security arrangement? Is the goal a central European government with ultimate control over member states?

I've been doing alot of reading and it's giving me a headache. I can't imagine how you must feel if your having to live with this monster.



posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 12:02 PM
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Originally posted by looking4truth
Sorry but I think the EU is a couple of elections from doom. Shroeder and Chirac are losing popularity in their respective nations and their economies are lagging. I don't find it hard to picture a hard-line economic reformist coming to power in either country and puting the freeze on EU contributions and participation.


- I think this is wide of the mark.
France and Germany are likely to replace Chirac and Schroeder with ' centre-right' politicians.
They've had them before (and the cycle will go around again and again).
Neither the French nor German centre right is anti-EU.


I speculate that a reformer would want to rework taxes and social programs, spending and currency valuations, and thus consider breaking EU rules to bring a turn around to an economy.


- Well the whole point of the recent arguement was to reform the budget and therefore the EU's spending program.

.....where are you getting the idea the EU has anything to do with domestic taxes, the national 'social programs' or the currency valuation(s)?


Once one major player does it others will follow. I'm not saying they would just "drop out" of the EU, but rather just ignore the rules untill it becomes apparent that they have no intention of complying.


- I see absolutely no sign of this; in fact quite the opposite.
The EU governments refused to cobble together a useless or bad agreement just for the sake of it last time in order to give themsleves time for reflection and space to devise a worthwhile agreement.


On a personal note; I don't know where the european's are trying to take the EU. Is it a trading pact? A political Pact? A security arrangement? Is the goal a central European government with ultimate control over member states?

I've been doing alot of reading and it's giving me a headache. I can't imagine how you must feel if your having to live with this monster.


- I suggest that there is exactly the problem most have with the EU.

The EU is a freely co-operating collective of sovereign nation states combining the sovereignty we have (which in many instances are - on their own - rather ineffective) to effect far greater real and actual influence and sovereignty.

The anti-EU factions on right and left want to depict it as some sort of a 'superstate' in the making. The 'right' try to paint this a some sort of monsterous 'socialism' at work and the 'left' wish to portray it as corporate interests gone mad at the expense of the people.
Recent referenda votes in France and Holland show this idea of any kind of 'superstate' to be ridiculous nonsense and a fiction.

The EU began with trade but is slowly converging politically too.
This is inevitable, given the values we all share.......just as Europe and the USA have a degree of economic and political convergance going on too.

As for "how you must feel if your having to live with this monster"; er, well generally we have an excellent standard of living in EU Europe and on a measure of the wider 'quality of life' issues we are living as well as any if not better.

Only a very ignorant person, or a blind fool or someone with a weird political aganda would try to deny Europe is a place where the people living there are very very fortunate when compared to the vast bulk of our fellow man on this earth.



posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 03:37 PM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
Only a very ignorant person, or a blind fool or someone with a weird political aganda would try to deny Europe is a place where the people living there are very very fortunate when compared to the vast bulk of our fellow man on this earth.


I think you misunderstood me. I have no doubt that life in European nations is much better than the majority of the world. That's not what I was getting at.

The living with a monster comment was meant to convey a personal sentiment, I (as a US citizen) have a hard time keeping up with local/national policies sometimes. The feeling I was trying to convey was that adding in another bueraucracy must add a little challenge in staying abreast of policy issues, especially with a large group of nations. Surely you can understand that, if you don't feel that way already.

As for domestic taxes and social programs effecting EU membership............ well I am American but I'm not stupid. There are several areas where domestic programs have to meet EU criteria or standards. I will give a list of EU programs that a member nation may want to circumvent to produce growth and lower prices domesticly.

The EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

CAP price intervention causes artificially high food prices throughout the EU. Some have suggested that Europeans pay about 25% higher prices for food than they would without the CAP, whereas the Timbro research institute has counted figures reaching over 80%[1]. Some commodities have even more inflated prices: European sugar costs more than three times the global market price. This subsidy is estimated to cost each EU citizen on average £16 per week although intervention costs and subsidy are decreasing.


The CAP is anti-growth in my opinion and also unfair to third world nations like in Africa who cannot export to the EU under CAP.

Moreover it is argued that in creating an oversupply of agricultural products which are then sold in the Third World and simultaneously preventing the Third World from exporting its agricultural goods to the West, the CAP increases Third World poverty by putting Third World farmers out of business.According to the World Bank Human Development Report 2003 in 2000 the average dairy cow in the EU received $913 in subsidies, compared with an average of $8 per person in Sub-Saharan Africa.


The EU's Common Fisheries Policy

The Common Fisheries Policy is the fisheries policy of the European Union. It sets quotas for which member states are allowed to catch what amounts of each type of fish.

The Policy has been criticised both by scientists concerned with dwindling fish stocks, and by fishermen, who say it is threatening their livelihoods.

If ratified, the proposed European Constitution will formally enshrine fisheries policy as one of the handful of 'exclusive competences' reserved for the European Union, ie. wholly outside the jurisdiction of individual nation states.



As for domestic tax rates, what happens should the VAT become unpopular or be consider ineffective economics in a member state? Under EU rules they are bound to the VAT and the rates they agreed on already, are they not?
VAT in the European Union

Different rates of VAT apply in different EU member states. The minimum standard rate of VAT throughout the EU is 15%, although reduced rates of VAT, as low as 5%, are applied in various states on various sorts of supply (for example, domestic fuel and power in the UK). The maximum rate in the EU is 25%.

The Sixth VAT Directive requires certain goods and services to be exempt from VAT (for example, postal services, medical care, lending, insurance, betting), and certain other goods and services to be exempt from VAT but subject to the ability of an EU member state to opt to charge VAT on those supplies (such as land and certain financial services). Input VAT that is attributable to exempt supplies is not recoverable, although a business can increase its prices so the customer effectively bears the cost of the 'sticking' VAT (the effective rate will be lower than the headline rate and depend on the balance between previously taxed input and labour at the exempt stage).


I don't dislike the idea of the EU, in fact I like alot of things about it. Examples would be;

A)Freedom for citizens of its member states to live and work anywhere within the EU, provided they can support themselves (also extended to the other EEA states).

B)Free movement of capital between member states (and other EEA states).

I just speculate that a hard line economic reformer could win an election and really test the cohesion of the EU. Provided they had the parliment behind them in their nation as well of course. It really doesn't seem that far fetched to me sorry.



posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 04:55 PM
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Originally posted by looking4truth
The feeling I was trying to convey was that adding in another bueraucracy must add a little challenge in staying abreast of policy issues, especially with a large group of nations. Surely you can understand that, if you don't feel that way already.


- OK, I can see what you mean now.

Fair enough, I suppose an 'extra' layer of formal bureaucracy might seem an additional thing to confuse one with. On the other hand the issues aren't kept from us - I'll agree that it requires a degree of effort to 'keep up with' but how could it be otherwise......and doesn't national politics?

I am often struck how often Americans here have dificulties with it.....but then I guess that is to be expected, no doubt there are plenty of examples in how the USA works at gov level that would confuse me.


As for domestic taxes and social programs effecting EU membership............ well I am American but I'm not stupid. There are several areas where domestic programs have to meet EU criteria or standards.


- That's fair enough and reasonable comment but I think you are mistaken as to how this comes about.

The EU criteria was agreed by the various governments either directly by the elected Prime Ministers and Presidents or their Ministers or those representitives directly nominated by the national govs.

The EU does not dictate the nation economic policies of nation states.


I will give a list of EU programs that a member nation may want to circumvent to produce growth and lower prices domesticly.

Common Agricultural Policy (CAPThe CAP is anti-growth in my opinion and also unfair to third world nations like in Africa who cannot export to the EU under CAP.


- But this is merely a standard criticism of any subsidy system. Of course it is "unfair" to those outside of the subsidy.

Just as is the case for those outside the US's agricultural subsidy system.

It is changing (CAP has been cut several times and substantially over the last 20yrs).

The problem with cutting CAP is that most countries prefer to maintain some sort of agriculture and given that this is an area that one cannot just give over to the markets for all sorts of reasons (some strategic some purely the practicals of farming) the fact that we have CAP is hardly surprising.

One can point to absurdities in the system and the effect it has on the 3rd world but I don't see many, never mind the EU, giving up farming subsidy entirely.


Common Fisheries Policy[/url]
The Common Fisheries Policy is the fisheries policy of the European Union. It sets quotas for which member states are allowed to catch what amounts of each type of fish.

The Policy has been criticised both by scientists concerned with dwindling fish stocks, and by fishermen, who say it is threatening their livelihoods.


- Many fish stocks around EU waters are dangerously low and fish respect no borders.
As with pollution if there was ever an area where collective action was appropriate this is it.

Sadly for the fishermen it is a case of tough, no matter what the EU does there is not a large future in this industry, hence the licencing system (quite a few UK fishermen sold their licences to Spainish fishermen...... and now complain about Spainards in so-called 'British' waters!).

Ask Canadian east coast cod fishermen about collapsed stocks and how they have yet to return decades after they went.


If ratified, the proposed European Constitution will formally enshrine fisheries policy as one of the handful of 'exclusive competences' reserved for the European Union, ie. wholly outside the jurisdiction of individual nation states.


- The point here is "If ratified", in other words if the sovereign nation states agree.
What's so strange about that?
All countries make binding agreements all the time.


As for domestic tax rates, what happens should the VAT become unpopular or be consider ineffective economics in a member state? Under EU rules they are bound to the VAT and the rates they agreed on already, are they not?


- Once again these are agreed - along with a host of exemptions etc - by the sovereign nation states, not imposed by the EU itself.


I just speculate that a hard line economic reformer could win an election and really test the cohesion of the EU. Provided they had the parliment behind them in their nation as well of course. It really doesn't seem that far fetched to me sorry.


- But there is the rub.
For all the arguement and disagreement there is no serious mass movement in any EU country agitating to test these agreements and leave.

Even the British anti-EU crowd (seen by many as the biggest in the EU) shy away from calling for and standing for an out and out 'let's leave' vote; they know they'd lose.
Anti-EU parties in the UK do dismally come any major serious election and even the most anti-EU of the major political parties here are doing all they can to ditch that image even if they have yet to embrace the EEC/EU as they once did.
As I said we have too much invested in the EU to allow it to fail; we'll argue and thrash things out but IMO we are a million years away from breaking it up.



posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 06:11 PM
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Thanks for comments on this issue. I'd be willing to bet a majority of Americans here at PTS don't know jack about EU politics. When good links are provided to back up claims, it's as good as college, in my opinion.




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