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Ménage à trois

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  • Ménage à trois

    No substance, but thought it was an interesting quick read.

    Ménage à trois

    Feb 19th 2004 | BERLIN
    From The Economist print edition

    The Union's tentative triumvirate will alienate others


    Is Albion still perfidious?

    IT IS always irksome not to be invited to an exclusive party. But when Gerhard Schröder, the German chancellor, hosted a dinner in Berlin for Tony Blair and Jacques Chirac on February 18th, the 12 other European Union leaders who had not received invitations were irritated for reasons that went well beyond hurt feelings.While the results of the Berlin summit seemed slight and inoffensive—economic reform in the EU—political leaders across Europe were left wondering whether the hidden agenda was a bid to establish a “big three” that will dominate the EU.

    This is a moment of heightened uncertainty for the Union. On May 1st, another ten members—mainly from central Europe—will be formally admitted to the EU, swelling its membership to 25 countries. Many fear that the EU will become impossibly unwieldy. Ministerial meetings have already been held with 25 countries present for some months—and early reports are far from promising. Ministers are staggering out of meetings in Brussels, complaining that it takes hours just to get through the opening statements. One senior French politician fumes that gatherings of 25 ministers are such a waste of time, he may simply stop turning up.

    Against this background, there is an obvious temptation for the bigger countries to try to “pre-cook” the Union's decisions by meeting in smaller groups. This is known in Brussels parlance as a directoire, and the Berlin dinner looked to many like a trial run. After their feast, the trio proposed a new deputy head of the European Commission charged with economic reform. Whatever the merits of this idea, the other EU countries were also concerned that as they munched through their dumplings and sauerkraut Messrs Blair, Chirac and Schröder would try to thrash out a trilateral deal on the proposed EU constitution.

    This, of course, is the sort of thing that the “Franco-German couple” have done for years with great success. The novelty is that Britain is now involved. The invitation to Mr Blair may reflect the fact that France and Germany have discovered over the past year that their combined weight is no longer sufficient to guarantee a result in the enlarged EU. On two of last year's key issues—the Iraq war and the EU's constitution—Franco-German agreement was not enough to carry the day.

    Whether simply adding Britain to this duo will suffice to create a new leadership for the EU must be open to question. Nor is it clear that the British view of Europe—pragmatic, economic and opposed to deeper integration—will ever really mesh with the traditional Franco-German approach, which is visionary, political and dedicated to “ever closer union”. Their views on economic reform also differ. In Berlin Mr Chirac called for EU encouragement of industrial champions, an idea which Mr Blair would call much too old-fashioned.

    Yet for the British at least, there is no harm in trying. Mr Blair has the advantage of having an alternative alliance of Italy, Spain and Poland as a possible fall-back position. As one sage observer in Brussels puts it: “It's the old British game in Europe of divide-and-rule and balance-of-power. This is the policy they have been pursuing for the last 400 to 500 years.”

    Un-Official Sponsor of Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist

  • #2
    Paranoid lot.
    Be passionate about what you believe in, or why bother.


    • #3
      Nevermind, I thought you were talking about something else.
      Make America Great For Once.


      • #4
        Originally posted by The Kev@Feb 21 2004, 04:44 PM
        Nevermind, I thought you were talking about something else.
        what a bad trick into politics huh? i fell for it too!


        • #5
          I refuse to read anything that has words like 'perfidious' in the heading.
          But wait. There is something that can be done afterall. My good friend Angelo is a cop in the Tampa/Clearwater area. Since I kept all of the files from the access logs when I had the power to see them, guess what, I have everyone's IP addresses. Hmm..what can I do w/ those??


          • #6
            what does perfidious mean?

            I will have to look that up.

            I know what insidious and impermeable mean. I think.
            Sometimes elections have positive consequences!


            • #7
              Here ya' go cg.........I have Merriam-Webster online bookmarked.... B)

              Dictionary-One entry found for perfidious.

              Main Entry: per·fid·i·ous
              Pronunciation: (")p&r-'fi-dE-&s
              Function: adjective
              : of, relating to, or characterized by perfidy
              synonym see FAITHLESS
              - per·fid·i·ous·ly adverb
              - per·fid·i·ous·ness noun

              Thesaurus-One entry found for perfidious.

              Entry Word: perfidious
              Function: adjective
              Text: Synonyms FAITHLESS, disloyal, false, recreant, traitorous, treacherous, unfaithful, unloyal, untrue
              Related Word mercenary, venal; alienated, disaffected, estranged; deceitful, dishonest
              AKA reddevil
              AKA davel a devil



              • #8
                I am going to use the word venal sometime today.

                Thanks, Davel.
                Sometimes elections have positive consequences!


                • #9
                  Where's the stuff about the 2 women and me? This isn't about the Ménage à trois I was thinking about?
                  RIP Stan the Man
                  The StL Blues will NEVER win the Stanley Cup. I repeat, NEVER!
                  I miss TLR!