Thursday, December 30, 2010

Broken and Busted Belgium set to hand EU Presidency to Half Hobbled Hungary.

Why, after the events of the past year, the EU is not the butt of comedians' crassest jokes across the world this New Year's eve is a mystery I really cannot understand. Who can understand  a block of supposedly mature countries and only recently still democracies, after the long machinations of getting the Lisbon Treaty passed, then appointing the joke figures of Van Rompuy and Baroness Ashton as its lead PR figures?

As Monsters and Critics points out this morning, linked here, the follies are about to be compounded by the group's rotating Presidency being taken over by Hungary in two days time. A quote from that article:

Van Rompuy chairs all EU summits, while the bloc's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, chairs meetings of foreign ministers. Hungary will therefore be responsible for running other meetings, most importantly those of finance and justice ministers.
But its credibility on both justice and finance are under attack. First, on December 20 the Hungarian parliament backed a law granting a state media control body sweeping new powers to crack down on independent outlets, and stacked it with members of the ruling party....

Then, on December 23, the Fitch agency cut Hungary's rating to one step above junk, arguing that its budget, passed the same day, was more likely to push the country into trouble than pull it out of it.

As if the farce of the past six months were not itself enough to make the EU an obvious nonsense, free speech has now been pre-removed in the nation set to hold  the EU presidency for the next six months! During that earlier period a country, Belgium, itself on the edge of fracture and unable to even form its own government and poised on the verge of bankruptcy supposedly presided over a group of 26 other nation's, the joint currency of 16 of which teetered against the hurricane winds of international incredulity at any prospect of its ongoing longevity! Sustained by the manipulations of a central bank with no authority to act as a lender of last resort Fitch's downgrade of Hungary's credit rating just before Christmas will at least retain the status quo for the ECB who may now continue to work with a rotating EU Presidency whose failure, at least for the present, is clearly even greater than its own.

EurActiv has more on the coming Hungarian farce, linked here.



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