Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.

Rebates for everyone

by DoDo Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 04:23:34 AM EST

[The Hoist: featuring an item or items from today's Newsroom]

Denmark receives €134-million rebate in new budget | EurActiv

The Danes are set to get a yearly rebate of 1 billion Danish crowns (€134 million), the country's first, according to the newest EU budget proposal by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy.

...Other EU states with big net contributions such as Britain, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Austria already get rebates.

...Janusz Lewandorski, the EU Commissioner for financial programming and the budget, told the Danish newspaper Politiken in January that a Danish rebate would "open a Pandora's box" and create an avalanche of demands for rebates from member states.

"You're the second richest country in the EU so in my book you are not entitled to a rebate," Lewandorski said.

The fact that other net contributors receive rebates gives the Thorning-Schmidt government an argument of fairness. However, the real motivation is the viability of the left-of-centre Danish government's tax reform plans, and the rebates in general should appear from the Danish government's side of the ideological palette (lack of solidarity with less-developed EU regions). Yet again, the 'moderate' position of a centre-left leader ends up serving nationalist causes and shifting the debate, and all this at the time the EPP is hard at work applying the Shock Doctrine to rebuild the EU into something potentially(?) disastrous.


Display:
As for the European Council's big budget cut agreement, the EP announced resistance before:

EUobserver.com / Political Affairs / EU parliament chief fires warning shot at budget hawks

BRUSSELS - MEPs will hold a secret ballot on any budget deal reached at the EU summit, European Parliament President Martin Schultz warned on Thursday (7 February), in the latest sign that MEPs are prepared to hang tough in talks with governments.

...but I'm not holding my breath when it comes to S&D's commitment.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 04:25:45 AM EST
PM Reinfelt (EPP) announced that he was satified with the continuation of the Swedish rebate. (We have a rebate? I think this budget session was the first time it was phrased thusly.) Opposition person (Greens) expressed dissatisfaction with the government being accepting to much decrease of the rebate.

Somewhere some kind of Europe is involved, but it remains to be mentioned in the debate.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 08:18:39 AM EST
Has every single historian committed suicide over there?  EU seems intent on making the same exact mistakes the US did.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 03:03:39 PM EST
Eleven years ago, the summit that sealed the expansion of the EU by ten new members: prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen (now front guy of NATO) had a hidden microphone attached to himself and let a documentary crew follow him around. The documentary shows the unbelievable haggling over "signing bonuses" (the new club members wanted more money for joining !?!) and the like. Most memorable: After a joint press conference, Putin complains to Rasmussen about impertinent reporters. "They're all bandits!".

The best moment for me was how Rasmussen, with some staffers, spread additional funds among the new club members ad hoc on a piece of paper. Future structural assistance funds for Poland where converted into 'instant cash': "For Miller [Polish prime minister] it's cash but for us it doesn't matter."

Rasmussen: "We just have to agree on how to call it. Is there a Danish word for it?" Staffer: "Cash!" [Laughter] ... "60 million for Malta, 20 for Slovenia, 20 for the Czech republic. I will distribute 200 according to some formula." "Yes, GDP formula." Rasmussen: "Will somebody ask afterwards why the numbers are what they are? Pure randomness. That's politics."

The title of the documentary: "All Bandits - When Europe's Heads of Government are among themselves" German audio

by epochepoque on Sat Feb 9th, 2013 at 04:37:57 PM EST
haggling over "signing bonuses" (the new club members wanted more money for joining !?!)

The governments of the old Member States realised that by the then existing rules, the mostly poor and underdeveloped regions of the new members would draw most of the structural funds, so they lobbied hard to (1) limit pay-outs to new members and (2) change rules so that they still get funds themselves. The governments of the new members were of course less than pleased, and lobbied hard in turn to get some last-minute concessions to show the voters. (I wonder how much of that came across for the makers and watchers of the video back then; but I suspect the "corrupt Eastern bandits wanted to steal our tax money and our bandit leaders gave it them" narrative was the easiest to apply.)

At that time, such haggling was better for everyone than either of (a) the status quo ante, (b) the prospect of trade wars, or (c) the prospect of actual wars. But when leaders (A) give strategic concessions while haggling for minute gains, without realising that those will be fatal, (B) lack the analytical clout, the boldness and the intergovernmental alliances to fight the problem when it hits (that is if they'd like to fight it at all), (C) or, being on the other side, don't see that extorting the others will ultimately hit back home big time; then all the petty-minded haggling with millions will contribute to one big train-wreck.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Feb 11th, 2013 at 12:12:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]