"Common responsibility for the European currency will also engender a common decision-making instance for the European economy. It is unthinkable to have a European central bank but not a common leadership for the European economy. If there is no counterweight to the ECB in European economy policy, then we will be left with the incomplete construction which we have today. However even if the building is not finished it is still true that monetary union is part of a supranational constitution. It is our task for the future to work with the appropriate means for the transfer of traditional elements of national sovereignty to the European level."
~Italian President Carlo Ciampi, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung,8 Feb.2000 ~

Perks at EU Parliament: A system out of control?

Over the last several years, the European Parliament has passed a muscular array of measures governing the continent and the daily lives of the now 455 million European Union citizens, from bans on single-hulled oil tankers to requiring blunt cancer warnings on cigarette packs. More »
06-06-04 | 10:14 |

Why I will vote NO! to the European Constitution

Whether the European ideal, up to the present, has been a good or a bad thing, is debatable. On the up side, it improved the economy in Europe, particularly during the 1950s. It has allowed people to move around Europe. I myself lived and worked in Holland for three years in the late 1970s, which would have been much harder without the EEC. And it may have helped to stop the Germans and the French from fighting each other. On the down side, however, are the vast sums ploughed into subsidies, the growth of bureaucracy, and all the bad laws and directives that emanate from Brussels. More »
04-06-04 | 12:31 | 3 comments

Europe's new oppressors

After the end of World War II, most European countries experienced rapid economic growth until the 1980s. Germany was considered an economical miracle because it went from wartime ruin to the highest per capita income in Europe. The miracle came by abolishing price controls, instituting sound money, avoiding repressive taxes and regulations, and instituting the rule of law. Having achieved prosperity, the French, Germans and some of their neighbors began increasing taxes to redistribute income, and evolved into stultifying regulatory states. More »
03-06-04 | 10:14 |

Euro Worries

Greek travel agents are complaining that – despite the attraction of the Olympic Games in Athens this August – hotel bookings are down 10%-plus over last year’s. More »
30-05-04 | 21:55 |

Plus Ça Change…

You know the political times are changing in Europe when a parliamentarian stands up during a solemn opening ceremony and gives props to Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. More »
15-05-04 | 17:57 |

Revolutionaries Join Europe

Europe is celebrating. On Saturday, 10 nations joined the European Union: eight from the Baltics and Eastern Europe, plus Cyprus and Malta. The accession, as it’s called, brings the total number of countries to 25 and the population to 425 million – 50 percent greater than the United States, though the GDP of the new EU exceeds ours by just 10 percent. More »
12-05-04 | 17:56 | 1 comment

Why Is Europe Now Breaking Into Its Gold Vaults?

Gold has always attracted its fair share of eccentrics. More than any other commodity in the financial markets, it has provided a haven for oddballs and conspiracy theorists. Right now, they can have a field day. Something strange has been happening in the gold market. Europe looks to be bailing out of the metal as gold prices soar and politicians squabble with central bankers over how to make use of the proceeds. More »
26-04-04 | 15:42 | 1 comment

Old Europe, Looking Older

Last week’s election results shows that France is at a dead end, with huge economic problems and no political solutions being offered. France is dying of socialism because all French politicians — including the ones who claim otherwise — are socialist. The welfare system and the state are heading toward bankruptcy, and all they can promise is still more public and social spending. More »
12-04-04 | 12:03 |

Swedish PM attacks tax policies in new EU member states

In media interviews and most recently on a visit to Berlin Tuesday (30 March), Mr Persson argued that Sweden is not prepared to pay for new member states via EU contributions, when the people earning most in these countries are not taxed or taxed at a very low rate. More »
08-04-04 | 12:06 |

Eastern Europe Hits Back At 'Old Europe' On Tax Cuts

Eastern European governments have defended their right to independently set their own rates of corporate taxation following comments from German leader, Gerhard Schroeder, that EU infrastructure funding was effectively subsidising deep tax cuts in the accession states. More »
01-04-04 | 16:21 | 1 comment