Sunday, December 12, 2004

An ironic transparency

Given the amount of publicity Germany has attracted in the past over its failure to meet the Growth and Stability Pact rules – and the fact that, for three years running it has been in breach, with a fourth in prospect – one might have thought that news of a sly little deal between German finance minister Hans Eichel and newly appointed EU economic commissioner Joaquin Almunia was of some interest.

And indeed it is. From an announcement in the German news magazine Der Spiegel yesterday, we learn that the Spanish commissioner has agreed with Eichel that the plan he has cooked up is sufficient to enable the commission to avoid having to take action – even though the chances of Germany actually achieving the required 3 percent target on its current account deficit is next to nil.

But what is particularly interesting is that the only English-language version of this report currently available has not been posted through any "normal" news channels. The only source we have found is Xinhuanet, the official state news agency of the Peoples’ Republic of China. Thus, the only way we get to hear about the doings of the "transparent" and supposedly democratic European Union is through the press agency of a totalitarian state.

Ironic or what?

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