Tue Nov 13th, 2007 at 07:45:48 AM EST
Right, this is my first attempt at a post so bear with me, I fear it may not be optimal...
Nicolas Sarkozy réclame une "véritable préférence communautaire"
| STRASBOURG (AP) - Nicolas Sarkozy a réclamé mardi devant le Parlement européen un débat sur "ce que doit être une véritable préférence communautaire". "L'Europe ne veut pas du protectionnisme mais l'Europe doit réclamer la réciprocité", a-t-il dit, dénonçant le "laisser-faire absolu". "L'Europe est attachée à la concurrence, mais l'Europe ne peut pas être seule au monde à en faire une religion". || || STRASBOURG (AP) - "Nicolas Sarkozy on tuesday, in front of the European parliement, requested a debate on "what must be a genuine EU preference". "Europe does not want protectionism but Europe should claim reciprocity," he said, denouncing "absolute laissez-faire." "Europe is keen on competition but cannot be alone in the world to make it a religion".|
Well... Are we? I realise that some at the Commission may be seen as high priests of deregulation (which, by the way, is not the same as competition), but the Commission is not the whole of Europe. Europe having a religious competition stance? I have my doubts...Besides, there IS some EU preference going on. Now that does not mean that it would necessarily be useless to debate how much there should be, and how. But the bit about Europe alone in the world to make it a religion is a strawman -and a typical Sarkozyan one at that, in the campaign it was always about France being the "only country in the world/Europe to..."
|"Nous devons être capables de faire autant pour nous protéger que ce que font les autres", a estimé le président français. "Si les autres régions du monde ont le droit de se défendre contre les dumpings, pourquoi l'Europe devrait les subir?", a-t-il lancé. "Si des nations défendent leurs agriculteurs, pourquoi l'Europe devrait-elle renoncer à défendre les siens?". || || "We must be able to do as much to protect ourselves as others do", reckoned the French president. "If other regions in the world are allowed to defend against dumpings, why should Europe face them?", he claimed. "If nations defend their farmers, why should Europe give up on defending its own?"|
Now that really is disgraceful. I guess farmers in Africa are indeed unfairly defended by their governments. And of course, the one area where the EU has never done anything is agriculture. We all know that. Again, the same rethoric, implying something blatantly false to stimulate an outrage that has little reason to be.
Now if you ask me, I'm all for some kind of protection. But not based on nationality -on production standards, mostly environmental impact to be precise. Then, maybe African products will not be able to price out the French farmers in France, but the obscene event where European products can starve African farmers will at least be over. There is NO sense in burning fuel to export wheat produced with lots of chemicals to countries which have no competitive advantage in anything else to employ priced out local farmers.