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Eurosceptic Bloggers

Monday, June 13, 2005

Mr Straw on Attack

The rhetoric is heating up as Foreign Secretary Jack Straw sets the stage for budget negotiations.
Jack Straw launched a withering assault on President Jacques Chirac and his allies last night, saying they were "deluded" if they thought that Britain's £3 billion budget rebate was the real problem facing Europe.
He had a few choice things to say:
  • France alone received more from the Common Agricultural Policy than the 10 new members put together.
  • "It is a budget which is unfair to Europe's poorer countries, because far too much of the proposed spending on regional funds goes to the better-off countries."
  • The 40 per cent of proposed spending that will go to the CAP will "sustain high prices for continental farmers and keep out cheaper exports from Africa"
But our partners have tried to paint a different picture:
Leading EU players, including France, Germany, Spain and the European Commission, have all tried to cast Britain's rebate as immoral, arguing that the poorest entrants to the EU, such as Poland, Latvia or Estonia, have to dig into their pockets to subsidise it.
Which is rich seeing as we are still the second biggest contributor to the budget. Which leads me on to a question that is always in the back of my mind. Why are the Germans so stupid? As the biggest contributor, if they ganged up with the UK and the Netherlands, we could all push for a reduction in CAP and a refocusing of aid to the East. After all Germany would gain far more from aid to Poland than to Spain or Greece. Instead they always play with France, effectively giving unilateral support to France’s efforts and receiving nothing in return. Also where is Ireland in all this? Its time they accepted that they are a rich country and became a net contributor.

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