Saturday, February 9, 2013

No Joy on the Seine

Nathalie Dubois and Jean Quatremer pull no punches: at the EU summit, David Cameron was the "winner by a knockout," and François Hollande, fresh from his "victory" in Mali, found himself face to the mat. This is hardly good news for "Europe," if there are any "good Europeans" left to care. And in any case the agreement may be short-lived because of opposition in the Parliament, as I reported yesterday:
Mais l’accord péniblement arraché vendredi est peut-être mort-né. Car le président du Parlement européen, le socialiste allemand Matin Schulz, a immédiatement annoncé que l’accord serait rejeté par les eurodéputés. C’est en juillet que, pour la première fois, le Parlement aura un droit de veto sur le budget pluriannuel de l’UE, en vertu du traité de Lisbonne. Face aux égoïsmes nationaux, l’hémicycle européen se présente comme ultime rempart de l’intérêt général européen, le président de la Commission, José Manuel Barroso, ayant abdiqué face aux gouvernements. Dans un communiqué commun, les leaders des quatre groupes politiques PPE (conservateurs), PSE (socialistes), ALDE (libéraux) et Verts ont donc annoncé leur rejet de ce budget d’austérité.
The joke has long been that Europe had no telephone number to call in case of emergency. Henceforth it will have no telephone, because the member states are unwilling to foot the bill.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

It goes way beyond telephone bills. There appears to be growing resentment among austerity-wracked European voters over the pharonic perks enjoyed by unelected Brussels elites and particularly seriously the arrogant entitlement culture of over-rewarded European MEPs. The latter of course were always going to veto cuts that affect their perks, well-documented scams and nepotism. Auditors refused to sign off the EU's accounts for the 18th year in a row in 2012 because once more they could not obtain clarification on critical issues. What does that tell you?

Anonymous said...

What, nothing on what concerned the French tvs last night (beside the snow): will the next Pope be French?
http://www.arretsurimages.net/vite.php?id=15132

Anonymous said...

As usual, the NYT is factually wrong:
up until 4 years ago, Wednesday was a half day, and the whole day set aside for catechism used to be Thursday with Saturday being a full day (cancelled in the 70s).
The article's right in pointing out that middle class kids have sports, music, and language lessons, when the lower class kids go to 'leisure centers' (the latter being completely discombulated by the reform, since they've not been included in the talks).
The surprise the minister is feeling is due to the fact there was extensive 'concertation' (consultation) with teacher representative from November 2011 on.... except that 1° teacher unions then were in favor because they hadn't really consulted the rank-and-file, believing they knew best 2° teachers are overall in favor of the law so their resistance wes unexpected (but don't want to end up being paid $8/hour for the extra activities or leaving kids to unlicensed, unqualified, unvetted, randomly chosen adults) 3° right now, among civil servants only people recruited with a "brevet" (9th grade education) are less paid than primary school teachers who are recruited with a master's degree 4° the minister had not realized that the situation in small towns, villages, and"rpis" is untractable (who will come and teach kids 1hour from the nearest town/city for 45mn and 8 euros?) 5° "leisure centers" and small town mayors were not included in the talks.
- http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/12/world/europe/12iht-france12.html?pagewanted=2&tntemail1=y&_r=0&emc=tnt
- http://www.cafepedagogique.net/lexpresso/Pages/2013/02/12022013Article634962490620953762.aspx
-http://www.mediapart.fr/journal/france/110213/ecoles-en-greve-derriere-les-rythmes-un-blues-plus-general