Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Right on cue…

Following neatly in the wake of the A380 launch, the Scotsman has published the story: "Tsunami-hit Thais told: Buy six planes or face EU tariffs".

Actually, the tariffs are already in place, as we recorded in our posting of 8 January and we had noted yesterday how the EU was using its trade policy as leverage to "encourage" countries to purchase Airbus aircraft.

The Scotsman, however, adds more detail, revealing that the Thai government has been told directly by EU commission – presumably from Peter Mandeson’s office - that "it must buy six A380 Airbus aircraft if it wants to escape the tariffs against its fishing industry."

The aircraft will cost Thailand some £1.3 billion – nearly the amount that all 25 EU members states have pledged in tsunami aid to the whole affected region.

Says the Scotsman, "The demand will come as a deep embarrassment to Peter Mandelson, the trade commissioner, whose officials started the negotiation before the disaster struck Thailand - killing tens of thousands of people and damaging its economy."

But that is the EU, naked in tooth and claw. While workers from across world are on the ground, helping to rebuild the Thai economy, EU officials are also right in there - undermining the basis of any recovery.

I wonder if the "bag lady" will do a Blog on that? One thing for sure, you won't hear anything about it from the BBC.

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