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Democrat May-June 2010

Turmoil in our midst
Arther Smelt
Europe at the crossroads

"Europe is at a crossroads" Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

 Readers of the Democrat will be only too well aware of the lengths promoters of EU go to in order to convince the general public with regard to the 'benefits' of EU membership.

   Membership was to bring all kinds of advantages in the form of trade, prosperity and freedom from wars. The euro would be a strong and stable currency and the inconvenience of currency exchange would be eliminated. Borders would be dispensed with thereby making travel and finding employment within Europe easier. Those countries remaining outside the EU would be isolated and impoverished, so we have been told over and over again.

   Mention is seldom if ever made with reference to those countries outside the EU like Norway and Switzerland which are two of the most prosperous countries in Europe and appear to trade reasonably freely with Europe and the World.

   The fact that there is considerable democratic deficit within the EU is never discussed. That the plethora of laws rules and regulations emanating from Brussels are incorporated into the laws of member states without the knowledge or consultation with the populations.

   Britain is said to be the second largest contributor to the EU budget with a reported record of £7.6 billion handed over this year. We are never told about the billions of euros which have gone missing over the years because the accounting systems are in a mess. For 15 years in a row auditors have failed to sign off the Commission's accounts because of concerns about fraud. In spite of the phenomenal waste of funds in all kinds of areas, there are reports that Brussels is to increase its budget in order to pay for the financial crisis within the EU. One area which cries out for attention is the urgent need to curb the bureaucratic incompetence, profligacy and corruption with which the EU is riddled.

   Unfortunately the profligacy evident in the EU and Brussels bureaucracy is widespread throughout Europe and further afield. Our own enormous debt problems which some pundits estimate as the highest in Europe are turmoil in our midst, not dissimilar to the situation in Greece. The economies of Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain are also in trouble. In spite of the mass of regulations emanating from Brussels supervision and regulation of the financial sector has been absent and now the ordinary man and woman in the street are being forced to foot the bill. This is why anger is being generated resulting in people taking to the streets in Athens. The Greek government had lied to the people with regard to the true state of the fmancial deficits. Our own government told us repeatedly that our economy was 'buoyant' when it was floating on a sea of debt.

   Angela Merkel is reported as saying to the German Parliament that "Europe is at a crossroads.

   "This is about no more and no less than the future of Europe and about Germany's future in Europe." She is also reported as saying that the Lisbon Treaty will have to be altered. No doubt she realises the convergence criteria and the rules dealing with the growth and stability pact are now a complete shambles. All the promises about the wonderful advantages of belonging to the kind of European Union we have before us today, is little more than bunkum.