Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I know there is a lot of nationalism rising to the surface, and I certainly won't claim to be immune to the phenomenon... but I will claim to some balance as I have already roundly criticised some French policies and positions and am comfortable defending them on other topics.

The debate about the rebate has been disingenuous, to say the least. All British arguments have been about how much the UK would have paid in recent years without it, which of course is not what was discussed, as the issue is only about what happens in the future. As it were, under current rules, the rebate is set to grow massively, from 5 to 9 billion euros, and the way it is structured (with other rules applying to Germany and the Netherlands), that increase will basically be paid by Italy, France, and the new member states. Blair smartly suggested to give back that last one, the most offensive part of it, but the numbers with respect to France and Italy are pretty impressive, as provided by no other than the increasingly euro-bashing Economist:

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Jun 26th, 2005 at 02:24:05 PM EST
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