Friday, 13 July 2012

José Manuel Barroso - the Brussels court jester in action

In a new report blandly titled "Eurozone jobs crisis: trends and policy responses," the ILO warns that 4.5 million more jobs could be lost in Europe unless policies "change course in a concerted manner."
The coming jump would put the total number of jobless at nearly 22 million, the ILO says.

"What I can see from Brussels is that, and also from a European perspective, I find it a little bit ironic that some people are suggesting for Britain a role comparable to that of say Norway or Switzerland. Norway or Switzerland are two marvelous countries, I very much admire, the most advanced countries in the world in fact with great qualities of life. But I think Britain is expecting a bigger role in the world than small countries."

"The fact that some are suggesting for Britain a role that is smaller than the one Britain already has today seems to me a little bit curious. When the prime minister of Britain meets the president of the United States, or the president of China, he has much stronger status and much stronger leverage because everybody knows that Britain is a country that is very influential in the shaping of European policy. The biggest integrated market in the world, the first economy in the world, the biggest donor of development assistance in the world ."

José Manuel Barroso (in an interview in the New Statesman)

The Telegraph´s Nile Gardiner rightly points out that the former Portuguese maoist is suffering from illusions of grandeur: 

The idea that it could not survive as a major international actor outside the EU is the stuff of fantasy, beloved by the likes of Barroso and Van Rompuy, who are firmly in denial regarding the scale of decay that has set in across the Eurozone. The European Project has been, as Lady Thatcher so eloquently put it, “the greatest folly of the modern era.” It is heading in only one direction – decline and economic ruin. For Britain, life outside the EU offers only opportunity, sovereignty and freedom, and the chance for the British people to shape their own destiny.

Well put, Nile Gardiner. 

There is, though, a bright side to Barroso, which should not be forgotten: The longer this clown - or court jester - is around with his act, the more people see the reality of a European project in steep decline. 

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