The EU’s New Infantilism

The Times has a devastating editorial on the direction of the EU which highlights the intellectual bankruptcy of Jacques Chirac:

Unfortunately, there appears to be a severe shortage of brainpower at the highest level in France. Even though more jobs will be created than lost, the prospect of any redundancies means the directive has been attacked by the Socialist Party and the trade unions. Not to be outdone, M Chirac has jumped on the bandwagon, seized the wheel, and chose a dinner on Tuesday to condemn liberal market principles as “the new communism of our age”.

This will be a surprise to those who had the misfortune to spend time in the labour camps. In reality, what this sad saga and his ludicrous statement illustrate is that Chiracism is the new infantilism of our era. His crass protectionism is naked populism pure and simple. In a similar vein, as part of yet another political tack, he opted yesterday to embrace the cause of poverty in the Third World (as if those souls had not suffered enough) and this despite his unrelenting refusal to contemplate the wholesale overhaul of a Common Agricultural Policy that condemns millions of people there to abject misery.

France is threatening to kill the EU’s Services Directive, which would allow easier employment across national borders in the EU. If the European system is supposed to be a common market, you can’t have restrictive rules that prevents a French architect from seeking employment in Germany. However, the idea that maybe, just maybe, these rules would cause French workers to lose their jobs has the powerful French labor unions up in arms. France wants everyone to subjugate themselves to the EU, but when it comes to actually making sacrificies themselves, it’s mais non!

Of course, Chirac is scrambling to ensure that France’s May 29 referendum on the EU Constitution passes despite the fact that a majority of French voters plan to vote against it. EU integration has been sold for years as way of making Europe more competitive against the United States and a way of bringing prosperity to all of Europe. Yet so long as Chirac and his band of énarque cronies continue to run things, the public is right to be skeptical.

Europe badly needs a dose of dynamic and progressive leadership. So long as you have corrupt kleptocrats like Chirac impudently lecturing everyone about how free markets are the “communism of our age” it’s clear that the current leadership in Europe is more interested in posturing and power than it is about creating a stable federal Europe.

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