"In regard to France, the Netherlands and several other countries, we have an obligation to pass the European Constitution here."
~Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Irish Times, 12 April 2005 ~

Spain rues the day it joined the euro

The numpties at the Banco de Espana must be rueing the day they joined the euro. They have three reasons for regret. The country’s housing bubble has burst, the economy is less competitive than ever and the current account deficit has mushroomed to the world’s second largest. And there’s little to nothing they can do about it. Except, of course, look on helplessly… It didn’t have to be like this. Before euro membership, the Spanish economy was motoring on nicely. Economic growth at just over 3% was complemented by interest rates at 15% and almost normal levels of household debt. Then came the euro, and with it interest rates set across the board by the European Central Bank. More »
12-07-07 | 13:02 |


The EU Constitution Mark 2, whose main elements were agreed at the German-chaired EU summit at the end of June, will take the form of amendments to the two existing EU/EC Treaties, the “Treaty on European Union”(TEU) and the “Treaty Establishing the European Community”(TEC). This will be a change from the proposal to repeal the existing European treaties entirely and substitute for them the “Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe” which was signed in October 2004 but which was rejected by French and Dutch voters in summer 2005. More »
10-07-07 | 14:17 |

The EU Constitution Mark 2 – useful sources of information for your info

The German-chaired Brussels summit the other weekend laid down the detailed terms of reference for the EU Constitution Mark 2. This revised EU constitution will take the form of amendments to the two existing EC/EU treaties, the “Treaty on European Union” and the “Treaty Establishing the European Community”, including a change of name for these treaties. This will be done rather than repealing the existing treaties entirely and replacing them with an explicitly named EU Constitution as in the “Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe” which was signed in October 2004 and was voted down by the French and Dutch peoples in summer 2005. More »
10-07-07 | 14:16 | 1 comment

EU treaty: the great double deception

Many people must have rubbed their eyes in disbelief at Gordon Brown’s statement to MPs last Tuesday when, in announcing his new “constitutional settlement”, he promised to give “more power to Parliament and the British people” on the one hand while, on the other, ruling out a referendum on the new EU treaty – which would take away a lot more power from Parliament and the British people. More »
10-07-07 | 14:15 |

"Treaty changes are only presentational", writes former Irish Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald

In an article on the revised EU constitutional treaty in the Irish Times on Saturday 30 June 2007, under the heading “Treaty Changes are Only Presentational”, Dr Garret FitzGerald, former Irish Taoiseach(Prime Minister) and leading member of the international European Movement, stated the following: TREATY CHANGES ARE ONLY PRESENTATIONAL “As for the changes now proposed to be made to the constitutional treaty, most are presentational changes that have no practical effect. They have simply been designed to enable certain heads of government to sell to their people the idea of ratification by parliamentary action rather than by referendum. . . Apart from a brief, last-minute postponement (designed to buy off Polish opposition) of the introduction of a new system of qualified majority voting, the remaining adjustments to be made to the treaty signed in 2004 – but still not ratified by nine member states – are essentially presentational and have no perceptible legal effect.”
10-07-07 | 14:11 |


The new treaty – 99 % the same as the rejected constitution The committee on constitutional affairs in the European Parliament met Monday and Tuesday to welcome the result of the summit in Brussels last week. We have salvaged 99 %, said Alexander Stubb, Finnish conservative, co-coordinator of the biggest political group in the EP (EPP-ED), and former civil servant participating in three different intergovernmental conferences. I asked him about the 1 % missing. He admitted it was only the name. The number and art of legal acts which can be based on the rejected constitution is the same as those who can be approved by the new text. More »
28-06-07 | 10:27 |

What the revised EU Constitutional Treaty would do and why Democrats everywhere should oppose it and demand national referendums upon it.

Why this curious procedure of having one Treaty – Maastricht – “on” European Union and another Treaty – the proposed Constitutional Treaty – effectively a Treaty “of” Union? The reason is that because the Maastricht Treaty on European Union makes us all familiar with the terms “European Union” and “European citizenship”, without actually legally establishing these or giving them legal content, those pushing the integration project hope that citizens will not notice the radical character of the constitutional change being proposed in the revised Constitution and how the legal essence of both the “Union” itself and EU “citizenship” is to be altered without most people being aware of it. The same familiar names and terms will be kept, but their legal substance would be fundamentally transformed. By such sleight of hand are we to be made real citizens of a real European State that is superior to our own national States. We are thereby to have real citizens’ obligations of obedience, solidarity and loyalty to the new European Union imposed upon us without most people knowing or realising that this is happening, for those pushing the new Treaty are desperately anxious not to draw attention to this aspect of it. And so far as possible the peoples of Euripea are not be consulted in referendums, for fear they might thereby realise what is happening and they might object. More »
28-06-07 | 10:25 |

Spain Is in Big Trouble

In the last two months, Spain has dumped 80 tons of gold onto world markets. It has also flogged huge quantities of U.S. Treasuries, British gilts, and other similar reserve investments at a similar rate. Why? According to an article in London’s Daily Telegraph, the Spanish government is running out of money. The Banco de Espana now has less than $17 billion in foreign currency and gold reserves left. This is enough for just 12 days of imports. The euro is the problem. European interest-rate policy applies to every country that uses the euro as its currency. Problem is, the European countries are all different and their economies move at totally different speeds. Interest rates are the politicians’ most important tool for managing the economy. By joining the euro, you’re giving up that power. More »
06-06-07 | 21:09 | 1 comment

Why the EU cannot go on like this

Sensible people everywhere will surely echo the concluding words of the former German president to his article “Most people have a fundamentally positive attitude to European integration. But at the same time, they have an ever increasing feeling that something is going wrong, that an non-transparent, complex, intricate, mammoth institution has evolved, divorced from the factual problems and national traditions, grabbing ever greater competences and areas of power; that the democratic control mechanisms are failing: in brief, that it cannot go on like this.” More »
15-05-07 | 10:13 | 2 comments

Lesson of the mountain republic

Membership of the EU can be good or bad for a country overall; but it is invariably good for some people within each country, namely its politicians, diplomats, civil servants and lobbyists. Brussels offers them hugely lucrative career opportunities. Most MEPs take home more than their prime ministers. More »
20-04-07 | 14:49 | 1 comment