Tuesday, September 14, 2004

The “new, improved” Europe

And so it came to pass that, after Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero had poured his heart out to the French weekly Journal du Dimanche, he has now used his summit meeting with Chirac and Schröder to reinvent "Europe".

According to Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the "old Europe" as defined by US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is no longer old. It has miraculously transformed itself into a "brand new", improved, washes-whiter Europe. Where that leaves the old new Europe is anybody's guess.

With that, this "new improved Europe" has embarked on "a decisive new phase" as it seeks to seal its first constitution. And, of course, Spain is back in the mainstream, having broken free of that rotten old new Europe which just loved the US.

That new dynamic Spain is also now at "the heart of Europe," leaving one wondering how many countries can actually get in this heart, and how many places that heart can be at one time, given that Blair also claims to be there as well. And while we are about it, if Europe has a heart, where are its gonads?

Anyhow, Spain is snuggling up to "heavyweights France and Germany", which are also at the heart. Zapatero is telling their leaders, "We must make a maximum effort to agree a constitution and bring it close to the peoples of Europe so they can see how it affects their future and rights". Such is his euphoria that he is then able to say, “I have no doubt it will be ratified." Ye Gods.

And, not to be outdone, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is also taking on the fight against terrorism, sorting out Turkey's application to join the EU and working on deepening co-operation in the fields of defence and security.

No doubt, in the fullness of time, he will emerge with an even newer, even more improved, brand new old Europe, by which time we will probably need to be considering a triple heart bypass. For the moment, though, we will have to be content with the current brand for our whiter-than-white wash. Anyone for Persil?

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