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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Aland, Big Enough to Stand up to the EU

One of the reasons that we can’t leave the EU is that we are too small and weak to stand on our own. We need the security of the community. It would take a real superpower to go it alone in these scary days. Like Aland for example:

Thanks to a quirk of early 20th-century history, Aland's 26,000 people are essentially sovereign co-rulers of their home nation of Finland. As such, they can veto any international treaty that Finland wants to enter, including EU treaties.
Well with a population of 26.000 I guess anything is possible:
Low public opinion on Europe could mean Alanders prevent Finland from ratifying the constitution.
The Alanders have their reasons:
  1. First, this community of Swedish-speaking Finns lost the right to fish at sea with traditional nets.
  2. Then Alanders saw their beloved spring duck hunting virtually abolished.
  3. To the Alanders' final outrage, local laws on consuming "snus" or Swedish chewing tobacco, are about to be quashed by the European Court of Justice.
Just the normal EU trying to force us all to wear the same straight jackets.
The head of the Aland government, Roger Norlund, put it like this: "Aland finds small-scale solutions to its problems. But the EU model is one of large-scale solutions, and harmonisation."

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