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Eurosceptic Bloggers

Friday, September 02, 2005

Travel Broadens the Mind

Steve from Village Hampden has been on holiday. The insights that he brought back with him are well worth reading. At the very least after reading them you will understand why the Greeks are Pro-EU.
Dealing with the EU—privately You get an order for a lorry load of oranges to be delivered to England. You take them to Albania and claim an export subsidy. You then take them to Italy, omitting to mention the export subsidy. Then you take them back to Albania and get another export subsidy. You then set off for England, and when re-entering the EU omit to mention either of the export subsidies. After all that, by the time the oranges get to England they are decidedly squishy and are rejected by the customer. You then have to take them back to Greece, where you will claim a subsidy for destroying them. Instead of the lorry, which is off on another trip, you use a cart to take the oranges to where they are to be destroyed. As the subsidy is based on weight, what you actually take is a cartload of stones with a layer of oranges on top. The other oranges can then be used as a decorative covering for more stones. This particular wheeze appears no longer to be available, since, apparently under the influence of the Spanish, Greek oranges are relegated to juicing, Spanish oranges having been officially declared to be preferable for eating.
Which explains the advantages of EU membership to the farmers and transporters. Now for officials:
Dealing with the EU—publicly You get an EU grant for building a motorway. When officials from Brussels come to inspect what they have been lavishing good money on—that could have been applied to something useful, like the Commissioners' expense claims—they complain that it is not a proper motorway because it does not have the requisite number of telephones and toilets. You put up road signs indicating distances to these facilities at the required intervals. The EU inspectors are then satisfied. But if you go to the site indicated by one of these signs what you might find is a sign telling you that the telephone is actually 500 metres further on.
Plus, the laid back Greek approach to life means that the EU in all its stupidity does not bother the average person, they just ignore it.
Shops display TVs with their screen sizes measured in inches, which seems odd for a country that has never used them. The shopkeepers are not persecuted—but then, this is not Sunderland.
Funnily enough, it seems to be the combination of stupid regulations, combined with efficient enforcement that is the real problem. Take away one of the two and the problems disappear. Being more relaxed than us, Greeks, like other Southern Europeans miss out on the efficient enforcement of rules. Being British, that is not an option, so we can only eliminate the other side of the equation. That means bidding farewell to the whole thing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Travel does broaden the mind.