Monday, November 15, 2004

Goodbye Prodi

There was a time when, if Prodi spoke, it would be on the front page of every newspaper in Europe – or near enough. But no longer. On his way out after a less than glorious career as commission president, for his last interview in the post he only gets to speak on Belgian national television and the report is picked up by AFP and not much else.

And how fitting that this interview as president should be lament. Echoing a theme that he has oft repeated, he lamented that the EU remains "divided" and regretted that the EU constitution did not go far enough in integrating power.

His big grief is that "Europe" has the euro but we doesn't have a harmonised economic policy. "It is a very, very difficult problem," he wailed, "to have a single currency and not to have a single policy to protect that currency. There is a great risk." And, as regards the constitution, he feels it leaves veto rights intact in many policy areas. "With 25 countries, it is impossible to take decisions," he said.

Goodbye Prodi. We shall miss you.

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