Friday, July 22, 2005

Prodi's logic

It is never going to come into force and that is why it should be put into force. That is, more or less, what fomer Commission President Romano Prodi told journalists on Wednesday.
“It is difficult to think that it will be approved, but it is important to go ahead with the ratification process to show that the position expressed by the majority of the French and Dutch is not prevalent.”
Well, of course, the position expressed by the majority of the French and the Dutch is of little importance compared to the position voted through by various parliaments, but let us suppose the ratification process throws up a few more positions, say, in Denmark and the United Kingdom, that are quite similar? Then what? Presumably, push ahead with the ratification process, regardless.

And what, according to this attitude, is to be done about the French and the Dutch? Make them vote again? Ignore them? Pretend that they actually voted yes? Fraught with difficulties, whichever course you choose.

Signor Prodi, who now heads a centre-left coalition in Italy and is preparing for the next presidential elections, dismissed the somewhat eurosceptical views expressed by the government, particularly by members of the Northern League.
“The government and parts of the coalition are displaying a self-satisfied anti-Europeanism. Lacking any deep convictions, they are going along with whatever suits them at the time, most recently making a pathetic and sly move to the British position as if that would put a respectable face on their lack of ideas.”
Well, obviously, nobody could display a convinced and principled anti-Europeanism or believe that coming out of the euro might be good for the Italian economy. In fact, nobody principled could even contemplate that something is to be approved of because it is good for one’s country’s economy. Principled positions are reserved for the integrationists.

Still, at least Signor Prodi acknowledged that there is some amount of disenchantment. And he had the remedy:
“I remain convinced that the response to the disenchantment and to the challenges Europe faces in the globalised world is more Europe, not less Europe.”
Presumably, this is what his former colleague, the fragrant Margot calls investing in listening. Signor Prodi listens and decides that what he is told is completely wrong and should be disregarded for the people’s own good, naturally.

Finally, that old mantra:
“Integration remains the only strategy for growth in Europe. Europe can only participate effectively in the global system when it speaks with one voice -- in other words when there is a political Europe.”
How wonderful. And what is Europe going to say with that one voice? Could it be something along the lines that Signor Prodi and his various colleagues think? After all, the European peoples’ opinion, separately or together is of little consequence.

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