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Gutless!

Posted by Richard Friday, February 10, 2006

It is the Independent today which reports on the the craven climbdown of the Toy Parliament (as my colleague calls it) on the Services Directive.

It reports that the so-called "Polish plumbers law" is to be watered down, after an agreement between the two biggest groups in the EU parliament to take the most controversial element - the so-called "country of origin principle" - out of the proposed legislation.

This tawdry "deal" comes as unions threatened to bring 25,000 demonstrators onto the streets of Strasbourg next week ahead of the key parliamentary vote, and flies in the face of appeals from six countries including the UK, the Netherlands, Poland and Hungary. Last last night, we are informed, they wrote to the EU commission, stressing the need for an effective Services Directive.

Alongside the craven attitude of European figures to the "Cartoon Wars" – an account of which is given by my colleague below – this climb-down is entirely in character for an organisation which talks big but, when the chips are down, is nowhere to be seen.

As for the Polish plumbers – looks like they will have to take up modelling.

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