The Corner

The Cheat

One of the reasons that the EU has so little credibility with its ‘citizens’ is the manner in which those who run it make clear that they have so little respect for their own rules. Whether, to take some recent examples, it’s members of the European Parliament fiddling their expenses, whether it’s the corruption within the Commission, or whether it’s the way in which France and Germany have (quite rightly, incidentally) decided to ignore the rules of the Growth and Stability Pact that underpins the Euro, the message is clear. This is a ‘union’ run solely by and for the continent’s political elite.

There’s no better example of this than Romano Prodi, the EU’s shrill, sleazy and incompetent ‘president’. Under the provisions of the EU Treaty its commissioners (the union’s top officials) are required to “refrain from any action incompatible with their duties”, yet despite this Prodi has been actively campaigning in Italy against Berlusconi ahead of the forthcoming European elections. Now, it is true that there is a ‘code of conduct’ that allows commissioners to participate in national politics, but what Prodi (the president, remember, not just an ‘ordinary’ commissioner) is doing goes far beyond what was envisaged by this.

Writing for UPI (link not available), Gareth Harding notes that for Prodi “to be actively engaged in national party politics while earning $200,000 a year to represent all Europe with impartiality smacks of double standards.” Indeed it does, but Prodi shows no sign of doing the decent thing, and resigning. Of course he doesn’t. For Prodi, rules are to be bent and to be fudged.

Under these circumstances it’s no surprise to see that this incorrigibly dishonest figure <a href="

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/05/30/weu30.xml&sSheet=/portal/2004/05/30/ixportal.html

“>is now trying to arrange an end-run around the fact that a number of EU countries are inconveniently insisting on holding referenda on the EU ‘Constitution’. On paper, one no vote is enough to sink this awful document, and that’s how it should be in a union of sovereign states. Prodi now wants to stage a single pan-EU referendum instead (this would be unconstitutional in Germany, but never mind), designed to create the political momentum to override the awkward national veto he had previously agreed to. In other words, the guy cannot stop trying to cheat.

Prodi is a disgrace to Europe and a disgrace to Italy. He shouldn’t resign. He should be fired.

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