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Eurosceptic Bloggers

Monday, March 21, 2005

Right to Imprudence

The Sick man of Europe has finally gained acceptance of its preferred medicine.
European Union finance ministers on Sunday night agreed on sweeping plans to rewrite the EU’s stability and growth pact, clearing the way for flexible new fiscal rules to be agreed at a summit on Tuesday. Under a breakthrough compromise deal, Germany would be able to cite the costs of its reunification as an excuse for breaking the European Union’s stability and growth pact.
15 years and a legacy of failure later, Germany still wants to stick so hard to its failed approach to the east that it is willing to upset its beloved European Project to do so. Despite being the pact’s original author, Germany has become one of its greatest detractors.
Hardline defenders of the stability pact, including the Netherlands and Austria, won assurances that Germany would only be able to invoke the get-out clause if its deficit was “slightly and temporarily” above 3 per cent.
And they believed the assurances? More fool them.
Many EU leaders, including Mr Schröder, Jacques Chirac of France and Silvio Berlusconi of Italy, have argued for a looser pact, giving them more freedom to run economic policies without interference from Brussels.
Like our own Mr Imprudence Brown and his defence of the rebate, the only thing that really gets these politicians excited is the prospect of losing their right to spend our money at will. Anything that makes that more difficult is unwelcome wherever it comes from. Now Germany appears to have won, it will be interesting to see how this deal plays out in The Netherlands. I’m sure the No Side will be happy for the ammunition.

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