The fat lady ain’t singing yet
In the early hours of this morning, the Volkskrant published a report that the ‘opposition’ parties SP, GroenLinks and D66 had decided to jump the gun on the Raad van Staat’s official decision and are going to submit an “initiative law” calling for a referendum on the new EU treaty (the process takes about 2 weeks).
If the PvdA support it, they will have a majority in the Dutch House of Commons and the government (lead by the CDA who are fundamentally opposed to referenda on the grounds that the
Meawhile, Pechtold (D66) called on the government to do the logical thing; if there was a referendum on the constitution, there had to be a referendum on the treaty as A follows B, and you couldn’t now “tell the populace to shut up”. Halsema (GroenLinks) went a step further and claimed that it was a “motion of no confidence in the population” not to hold a referendum. However, the best was yet to come, and from a quite unexpected corner.
In time for the breakfast commute, Frits Bolkestein (who at 74 still holds a position as “honorary member” of the Upper House for the VVD) published an almost inflammatory article calling on the government to stop treating the electorate like little children who are unable to weigh the pros and cons for themselves, and agree to a referendum. It has been assumed up until now that the VVD would block the ‘initiative law’ in the Upper House, making a referendum impossible. Now it’s not so certain; the fat lady ain’t singing yet.
(I can't resist sharing rest of Bolkestein's article. If I were Sarkozy my ears would be burning like miniature Olympic torches! Watch this space.)
With a first degree in economics from the
From 1999 to 2004 he was a member of the European Commission, and since then has been involved in an
True to form, in a quite outspoken article, Balk summarily dismisses the threats of balkanisation should the Netherlands say ‘no’ as absolute nonsense, going on to reprimand the Europhiles for not knowing better and lacking commonsense for even considering saying such nonsense.
With a side-swipe at what he calls the “miserable” United Nations anti-racism conference in Durban 2001 which, he claims was only hailed as a success because a declaration was signed by the EU, the European Parliament is next in the line of fire for hailing Sarkozy as a saviour while giving Balkenende the cold shoulder … while it was Sarkozy that should have been treated with suspicion.
Time for Sarkozy to get both barrels for wanting to remove the independence of European Central bank. “French politicians cannot stand it when there is something outside the field of political control, such as the ECB.” But the bank cannot serve two masters, he continues; if Sarkozy succeeds, it will be the end of the European Monetary Union.
Warming to his task, Bolkenstein accuses Sarkozy of economic patriotism, where French companies are given preference over non-French companies, in direct conflict with European treaties, but annoyingly suported by the Kaczynski brothers in
The modifications of the treaty are minor and of subordinate importance, he claims. Liberals are not in favour of referenda, but if the changes are small it is only logical to hold one. If the government refuses, people will accuse the politicians of sneaking the constitution through the back door after they failed to get it through at the front. That will, he concludes, only increase eurocynicism.
It ain't over until the fat lady sings ...COMMENT THREAD Tweet