EU/UK, Pagano (ERA): “British make sarcasm on Nobel Peace Prize to EU but thanks to EU having no federal language, English makes them earn almost 368

Posted on in ERA News 7 view

The Nobel Prize to EU provoked a lot of sarcasm in the British press, reflecting the British traditional distance from Europe which has increased in the last two years due also to Euro crisis.
While the Daily Mail said the prize is “beyond satire”, the right-wing Daily Express declared the Prize was “for idiocy”; the Times made a satirical quiz (http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/worl … 567547.ece ) which defines EU as “Germany’s third attempt to domination, which worked”. If the UK Prime Minister has been the only one who did not comment the awarding, the opinion of his government is unequivocally revealed by the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, who said they are ready to leave EU.
But the United Kingdom, which preferred to keep their own currency, has still a recognized privilege within the EU: the linguistic one.
Despite EU having 23 official languages, the Commission’s working languages are English, French and German. But it’s only in English that every single document is available.
This monopoly, as economists Grin and Lukacs explained, makes British save up to 18 millions Euros per year – because they do not teach any foreign language in their schools – and earn up to 350 millions Euros per year thanks to English learning abroad. For every European citizen, this English-language tax costs 900 Euros per year.
Considering British’s position, it is unbelievable that the Italian Ministry of Education did not express any concern. In 1995 the Ministry published a study about Esperanto as European Federal Language, but since then nothing was done to stop this linguistic monopoly. Such a monopoly is destroying the Italian language, and it is preventing the development of a true freedom and equality within the United States of Europe.




6 Comments

E.R.A.
E.R.A.

The Nobel Peace Prize is the sacred elephant of the liberal establishment. It is sometimes awarded to good people who have done great things, but equally often to unworthy recipients as a gesture of pious hope.<br />
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The world applauded when it was presented to Martin Luther King in 1964, to Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi in 1991, to Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk two years later.<br />
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Sensible people sighed when the prize went to Henry Kissinger and Viet Cong leader Le Duc Tho in 1973, who stitched up a charade of a Vietnam peace deal as a figleaf for surrendering the country to the Communists; to Egypt’s leader Anwar Sadat and his Israeli counterpart Menachem Begin in 1978 for their Middle East deal which brought no lasting peace; and to Barack Obama in 2009 for his commitment to ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, both of which are still mired in bloodshed. <br />
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In all these cases — and many more besides — the Nobel Committee was obviously seeking to say to the winners and to the world: ‘We welcome what you are attempting to do, and hope that giving you the Prize will make you try even harder for the cause of peace.’<br />
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These are the sort of decent, woolly-minded sentiments that country vicars unleash on their flocks every Sunday. But the consequence is that too many Nobel Laureates are honoured for aspirations rather than achievements, for proclaiming objectives which go unfulfilled, or for displaying an illusory semblance of virtue. <br />
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However, this year, the 93rd in which the award has been made, the committee has surpassed all previous follies and travesties. The peace prize has been given to the European Union. The award, it is said, recognises six decades of commitment to the advancement of peace, reconciliation and human rights. <br />
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If the judges think the EU is a worthy winner on these criteria, we might start fantasising about the other candidates who probably crossed their minds.<br />
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Presumably somebody spoke up in favour of Russia’s brutal Vladimir Putin. There must have been a strong lobby for Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, for her splendid diplomatic efforts on behalf of Las Malvinas. <br />
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The Beijing government cannot have gone unnoticed, for its doughty efforts to start a war with Japan in the East China Sea.<br />
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A good case might be made for President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, for promoting harmony among his six wives. There might well have been some especially deserving leader of the Taliban who attracted the interest of the Nobel Committee.<br />
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But, in the end, the winner obviously had to be the EU. If one is going to have a laugh, one might as well make it a big one. <br />
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After all, the judges could take into account rioting in the streets of Greece, Italy and Spain in protest against eurozone austerity measures. <br />
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Relations between EU members are at their worst for decades and likely to deteriorate further — this week, protesters dressed as Nazis to greet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on her visit to Greece. Europe’s economies are stagnant, with little early prospect of improvement. The future of the European project is in the melting pot, and every decision-maker on the continent knows it.<br />
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Only the other day I happened to visit Oslo, where the Nobel committee holds its deliberations. A local acquaintance said to me: ‘We Norwegians find ourselves in a strange situation. We have all this oil and gas making us hugely rich, so we watch all the horrors going on in the EU rather as spectators on the balcony of a luxury hotel might look down upon a train wreck in the valley below.’<br />
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I do not think of Norwegians as sadistic people, but the Nobel judges have inflicted upon us all a huge, cruel practical joke awarding their Prize to the European Union at its lowest point since its inception — the moment at which almost every citizen of its 27 nations is asking: Where did the story go so horribly wrong? <br />
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My own answer to this would be: When Europeans stopped telling each other the truth. <br />
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Let me elaborate. <br />
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Many years ago, an Israeli army command course instructor told me: ‘You know what we mark most highly for here? Telling the truth. So many problems happen on the battlefield because an officer who is supposed to be at Point A but is really lost at Point B, or is supposed to have captured X and is only at Y, won’t admit it on the radio.<br />
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‘So we tell our students: We will forgive you anything if, when you report, you tell the exact truth about where you are and what is happening to you.’<br />
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This seems a hugely important lesson for governments, companies, institutions and individuals in peace or war. Unless we are honest about where we are at, there is no chance of putting right what is wrong. <br />
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Today, Europe’s entire governing class remains in denial about the ghastly mess it has got itself into. When the Common Market was set up in the mid-Fifties, it was a brilliant and hugely important idea. It was pivotal in bringing about reconciliation between France and Germany, after centuries of war.<br />
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In the decades that followed, the Common Market raised some members — Italy notable among them — out of poverty, and contributed mightily to the prosperity of the continent. <br />
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I am among those still wholly convinced that it was right for Britain to join the Common Market in 1973. For years thereafter, for all the horrors of the Common Agricultural Policy, we profited from access to a free-trading Europe.<br />
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But over the past quarter-century, we have witnessed the madness of the attempt to transform the Common Market — now, of course, the EU — from an economic association into a political union.<br />
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This has produced three huge and disastrous consequences.<br />
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First, the EU bureaucracy has grown like Topsy, relentlessly progressive and assertive in its determination to increase its own power and impose universal standards upon everything from British sausages to Bulgarian road signs.<br />
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Earlier this year, I attended a conference at which a German delegate demanded of the British representatives in genuine bewilderment: ‘Why will your people not fly the EU flag? Why will you not join the Schengen agreement on border controls? Why do you resent our commitment to human rights?’<br />
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The answer, of course, is that while we want to have a friendly and co-operative relationship with Europe, we are absolutely determined not to stop being British. <br />
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The Germans are unbothered by the idea of being Europeans, because — even now in their success and prosperity — they are at heart rather ashamed of being Germans. They feel — how shall we say — just a tad embarrassed about two world wars. <br />
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We, on the other hand, like being exactly what we are, drinking warm beer and driving on the left and making jokes about the war.<br />
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Nor are we the only ones.<br />
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Most of the other nations of Europe likewise cherish — rightly so — national pride, and value their own way of doing things.<br />
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The Greeks, for instance, think it their patriotic duty not to pay taxes.<br />
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I heard somebody say the other day: ‘Greeks are Orthodox Christians and show it: they really do believe in miracles.’<br />
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Nobody in Britain wants to make the Greeks organise or disorganise their affairs any differently from the way they do.<br />
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But it is ludicrous to pretend they belong in a common economic or political entity with any northern European nation, where — outside the financial services industry — people are generally honest and law-abiding.<br />
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The second strand in the EU disaster is that the governing class, with huge conceit, has attempted to drive the continent’s peoples up a path towards political union most have absolutely no desire to tread, in defiance of democratic principle and prudent politics.<br />
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Indeed, I have heard European MPs and Eurocrats argue shamelessly that they know better than the stupid voters what is in their best interests. One German politician said not long ago: ‘All our country’s biggest decisions since 1945 have been taken against the will of the people.’<br />
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He was proud of that. He thought it displayed splendid leadership by successive chancellors. <br />
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But Germany’s voters are now profoundly embittered by the realisation that abandoning the Deutschmark was a catastrophe for them. Europe’s political class has betrayed its electorates — but its members still refuse to acknowledge this.<br />
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Angela Markel, lost at sea like the rest of Europe’s leaders, is also lost for words to use to her people. A German politician says: ‘She cannot say “sorry”. She has no narrative.’<br />
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If you think you waste precious time queuing for buses or waiting for the trailers to end in a cinema, think of EU summits. At each one, hundreds of important and allegedly powerful people waste whole days and nights exchanging platitudes, because they still will not admit that the entire direction of travel of this vast institution is wrong, wrong, wrong — more denial of a big truth. <br />
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Finally, since the Nobel Committee has included the EU’s work for human rights in its citation for the peace prize, we should mention this here, too.<br />
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Every sensible person understands ‘human rights’ properly mean freedom from persecution or imprisonment, the right to justice, free speech, and a voter’s privileges in the democratic process. <br />
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Yet the European Court of Human Rights — not an EU body, but with which Brussels is proud to march in step — aided and abetted by some monumentally foolish and arrogant British judges, has transformed and corrupted what was originally a noble concept, to make human rights a charter for parasites and wrongdoers to exploit our society’s decency. <br />
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The spectacle of illegal immigrants convicted of criminal offences being reprieved from deportation because they have impregnated some wretched woman here, or merely acquired a gay partner, is grotesque. <br />
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The idea of Islamic fanatic Abu Hamza’s wife and family inhabiting a £1 million house in North London at the taxpayers’ expense disgusts the British people. They know this is wrong; it should not be allowed.<br />
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It happens only because Europe has forced it upon us. Thousands of such examples have contributed mightily to alienating millions of voters from the whole notion of Europe.<br />
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To return to the big picture, I will quote the remark of a wise friend who knows China well: ‘Asia is becoming much richer than us, because it emphasises aspiration rather than entitlement. In Europe, our societies are obsessed with claiming unaffordably extravagant entitlements rather than with promoting aspiration’.<br />
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This seems absolutely right, and a profound explanation of where we have gone wrong.<br />
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We can all see the game being played by the wise fools of the Nobel committee, in giving their prize to the EU: they want to send a message: ‘Haven’t you done well, then? Don’t risk it all by even beginning to think about a break-up of the eurozone, which could be the start of something terrible.’<br />
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The Norwegians, privileged spectators of the unfolding euro-disaster, have made themselves seem ridiculous by this gesture. <br />
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The truth is that the EU’s future prosperity, perhaps even its very survival, can only begin to be restored when or if its leaders reconnect with reality on an epic scale. <br />
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They must reshape the eurozone without its weak members; abandon their vain pursuit of fiscal and political union; drastically scale back the ambitions of the bloated, sclerotic, tottering Brussels edifice so that it becomes what it once was — an association of trading partners. <br />
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The Nobel Committee has given the EU a lifetime achievement award. In this case, as so often with such idiotic gestures, the presentation ceremony might most appropriately be held in a graveyard.<br />
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<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2217013/As-protesters-dressed-Nazis-riot-Athens-ruled-Brussels-stooges-giving-Nobel-Peace-Prize-EU-satire.html">http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... atire.html</a><!-- m -->

E.R.A.
E.R.A.

<strong>The single gravest danger to peace in Europe is arguably the European project itself </strong><br />
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Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union prompts, above all, one question: is it too late for Alfred Nobel’s heirs to ask for their money back? With the commendation first of Al Gore, and then a neophyte Barack Obama, the prize committee was generally agreed to have made a colossal fool of itself. But yesterday’s announcement transcended the critics’ wildest dreams. To take this decision seriously would be to give the Nobel committee a status that, many would argue, it no longer deserves. Indeed, the greatest service it has done is not to diplomacy, but to comedy. How delicious to witness the parade of Eurocrats shutting their ears to the cacophonous mockery yesterday, as they modestly expressed their surprise and pleasure. And what bliss to imagine the same self-important dignatories trotting up to the podium on December 10: Herman Van Rompuy, José Manuel Barroso, Martin Schulz (the president of the European Parliament, for any non-members of the Schulz family) or perhaps even, if the gods are very kind indeed, Baroness Ashton. If one could only harness the sheer self-regard that will be exuded as they mouth their pious platitudes, the Continent’s energy crisis would be over at a stroke.<br />
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Yet at the same time, the committee has – entirely accidentally – put its finger on the EU’s great flaw, one that threatens to undo just those accomplishments for which it is being lauded. It is the extent to which the union, and the European project more generally, is not a matter for discussion, but sanctification. Anything that promotes closer union is seen as wise and just, even if it does terrible harm. Criticism is dismissed not simply as unfair, but actively malign – intended, according to the depressingly common rhetoric, to pull Europe back into the darkness of the 1940s.<br />
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In contrast to the EU’s harshest critics, we do not see it as an entirely benighted institution. In concert with America, with Nato, with the constellation of Western values and accomplishments, it helped pull the Continent together after the Second World War, and provided a model of a better life for the captive peoples of Eastern Europe. The carrot of membership helped bring democracy to Spain, Greece and Portugal, and later to the former Soviet bloc. Much of Turkey’s recent liberalisation results from its attempts to comply with European standards, even if the Continent (with Britain an honourable exception) has, largely, met such efforts with suspicion and scorn.<br />
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Yet to give the EU the lion’s share of credit for this process is worryingly short-sighted. Indeed, in recent years, as its transmogrification into a superstate has quickened, it has done as much to sow discord as to bring peace. The Nobel committee’s citation explicitly referred to its work in Yugoslavia. Yet Europe largely wrung its hands on the sidelines, until the US ended the bloodshed and forced a peace, as it later did in Kosovo. More recently, in Libya, it was Britain and France, not Brussels and Baroness Ashton, who acted as liberators – again with America’s support. And domestically, Brussels has recently demonstrated an alarming willingness to dispense with elected leaders in order to rescue the disastrous project of monetary union, immiserating many millions in the process.<br />
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Yes, Europe has been transformed over the past half-century – in the committee’s words – from a continent of war to a continent of peace. But that came about largely through the establishment of trade links, the free movement of people, the knitting together of an economic union rather than a cultural one. The irony of yesterday’s announcement is that the single gravest danger to that peace – provoking riots in Spain, demonstrations in Italy, the rise of far-Right movements in Greece – is arguably the European project itself, as it exhausts the Continent’s treasuries to prop up a crumbling currency union. <br />
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The good news is that there is still time for Europe to pull itself out of this grim spiral, to rediscover and reaffirm the shared freedom and shared prosperity that made it such a beacon to the impoverished or imprisoned nations on its borders. If it can do that, it might even deserve such a prize. As it stands, this bauble feels more like a decoration for the headstone of a once noble ideal. <br />
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(from <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/telegraph-view/9604484/Peace-is-a-prize-but-it-was-not-won-by-the-EU.html">http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/tele ... he-EU.html</a><!-- m -->)

E.R.A.
E.R.A.

<strong>THE award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the crisis-hit European Union was labelled "preposterous and absurd" by a former Chancellor.<br />
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Lord Lamont hit out as the Norwegian committee that dishes out the honour said the EU would be its next recipient.<br />
It said it was handing over the prize in recognition of the EU's six decades of contributions “to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe”.<br />
The decision has provoked scorn from many corners following frequent anti-austerity riots that have flared on the continent, most recently in Greece during the visit of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.<br />
Lord Lamont said: “I think today’s decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the EU at a time when people in the streets of Athens are dressing up as Nazis seems preposterous and absurd.<br />
“As Oscar Wilde said about the death of Little Nell: ’It would require a heart of stone not to die of laughter.’<br />
“It is the most ridiculous decision since the Nobel Prize committee gave the peace prize to Barack Obama when he had been President for two minutes.<br />
“If the committee cannot think of an individual to whom they should award the prize, better not to give one at all.”<br />
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the EU had achieved an “extraordinary feat” in the aftermath of World War Two.<br />
Mr Clegg added: “I think there are lots of people who are really anti-Brussels or for Brussels, but I think the one thing everyone accepts is given the 20th Century was this blood-soaked century in Europe, the fact that countries would trade with each other, talk with each other, rather than fight with each other, was an extraordinary feat of peace over war.<br />
“It’s a kind of interesting choice to give it to an acronym rather than a person but the idea of peace in Europe is something we should always celebrate and never forget.”<br />
Social media networks meanwhile were awash with comments ridiculing the choice.<br />
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@AnonOpGreece said on Twitter: “Anti-austerity protests in Portugal, Spain, Greece, Italy & France, Nationalism, Fascism, unemployment and poverty. Yeah EU deserves it!"<br />
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(from <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article4586629.ece">http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/ne ... 586629.ece</a><!-- m -->)

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Once again, it’s been a week of the most deeply troubling social and economic unrest in Europe.<br />
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In Greece, police fired stun grenades at protesters – some in Nazi uniform – trying to break down barriers erected to keep them from the visiting German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, who they blame for bringing the country to its knees by demanding swingeing spending cuts.<br />
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On Thursday, the unemployment rate in a country whose economy has shrunk by a fifth in only three years was revealed to be 25 per cent.<br />
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Youth unemployment in Greece now stands at 55 per cent – creating huge social tension and fuelling the rise of extreme parties on both Left and Right, including an explicitly neo-Nazi organisation.<br />
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Meanwhile, in Spain – which is on the verge of requesting its own Greek-style bailout from the EU – government bonds were downgraded to near junk status.<br />
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Worryingly, the region of Catalonia is threatening to declare independence to extricate itself from a national economy deep in recession.<br />
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What a moment, then, for a Norwegian committee to award the EU – with a straight face – the Nobel Peace Prize for six decades of the ‘advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe’. <br />
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Truly, such a move makes satire redundant.<br />
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The notion that the EU has helped to keep the peace has merit only in that it has bound Franco-German interests closer together (indeed they are now inseparable in their blind determination to save the euro at all costs).<br />
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But it was the extraordinary reckoning undergone by a German public ashamed by the Second World War that has transformed the country into a largely pacifist society.<br />
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The reality, with great respect to Brussels, is that it is Nato – at huge cost to American and British taxpayers – that has kept the peace in Europe for 60 years.<br />
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Contrast this to the pathetic impotence shown by Brussels when, for example, the former Yugoslavia broke up amidst genocide and bloodshed.<br />
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However, it’s on their claim that the EU is a champion of ‘democracy’ that the Norwegians (who, of course, twice declined to join the EU, and are now experiencing great prosperity) will provoke tears of laughter.<br />
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For decades, this unaccountable, unelected behemoth has ignored the wishes of member states to impose its will on the 500million citizens of Europe.<br />
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Countries which voted to reject its sovereignty-sapping treaties were told to keep holding referendums until Brussels got the answer it wanted.<br />
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Most recently, as the eurozone crisis escalated, elected politicians in Greece and Italy were forced out and replaced with EU-appointed technocrats prepared to do exactly as they were told.<br />
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Countries requiring bailouts for their broken banks or shattered economies are now effectively run jointly by Germany and Brussels – a fact that has already prompted rioting in Athens and Madrid.<br />
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The Nobel committee at least acknowledged the current ‘grave economic difficulties and social unrest’ within the eurozone, but added that, if it was allowed to ‘disintegrate’, there was a risk the continent could ‘dissolve into extremism’.<br />
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The brutal truth – which the ruling classes refuse to accept – is that it is the obsession with keeping the fatally-flawed euro alive that is fuelling extremism and creating the real threat to peace.<br />
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Yes, it is chilling that the EU has won this award.<br />
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But it’s even more chilling to think it will be viewed by Brussels as an encouragement to carry on pursuing the same anti-democratic policies that are now bringing such very real misery.

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It was in 1888 that Alfred Nobel was able to view what the public would remember him for when he died. Following the death of his brother, a French newspaper erroneously published the wrong obituary and in it, stated: 'The merchant of death is dead'<br />
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This was relating to his invention, amongst other things, of dynamite and his family's involvement with armaments. Rather than wanting to be remembered as the man who came up with ways of killing more people, and quicker, Alfred Nobel donated 94% of his amassed wealth on his death to the foundation of the 'Nobel Prizes' with the 'peace prize' being given to the person or society that renders the greatest cause to international fraternity, in the suppression or reduction of standing armies of the furtherance of peace.<br />
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How, then, is it possible that the European Union has been granted this award for 2012? With the eurocrisis showing no signs of abating and the Commission, Council and European Central Bank all determined to prolong the agony of this situation, previous winners such as Aung San Suu Kyi and Medecins sans Frontieres must be quivering with rage at the comparison.<br />
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One only needs to open the pages of a newspaper, switch on the TV or, in many European capitals, look onto the streets to see the violence occurring precisely because of the EU and hapless domestic politicians who support it. <br />
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In Athens, Angela Merkel was met with Greeks dressed in Nazi costumes, protesting at the way they have been treated by the German-led troika. In Spain, with youth unemployment at nearly 60%, demonstrations have been met with batons and rubber bullets.<br />
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It's no secret that the EU wants to destroy nation states with democratically elected governments who are accountable to the people. Commission President Barroso stood up in the European Parliament and said so, proudly.<br />
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Perhaps the committee, and indeed EU leaders, should remember the last time a group of countries were robbed of their identity? When a single flag, anthem, currency and leader was imposed? It was called Yugoslavia and resulted in 'ethnic cleansing', indiscriminate shelling of towns and cities, systematic rape and the death of tens of thousands of people. We know the town of Srebrenica because it was the scene of genocide. We know the name Ratko Mladic because he ordered the murder of around 8000 Muslims.<br />
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The EU is not furthering peace. International Trade and co-operation furthers peace. In Europe, we should thank NATO for keeping the peace, not the EU.<br />
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Because unless there is a 'mea culpa' moment from the EU, unless countries break their shackles and leave the economic prison of the eurozone and unless the voice of the people is listened to, we will have more violence, not less.<br />
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Perhaps we should be grateful that the 'Nobel Prize' for economics is in fact awarded by the Bank of Sweden and save ourselves another potential travesty in 2013.<br />
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<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2216957/Robbing-group-countries-identity-does-help-preserve-peace.html">http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/artic ... peace.html</a><!-- m -->

E.R.A.
E.R.A.

You may have seen by now that today the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.<br />
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Eurocrats were so moved that there were trembling lips this morning as the European Commission president, José Manuel Barroso, swept into the Press Room at the Berlaymont headquarters to make a statement to the hacks. He asserted that the prize was a message from the Nobel Prize committee that the EU was 'precious' and that all European citiziens must 'cherish' it, but refused to take questions on it.<br />
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Which is the usual guff we always get from Barroso, the difference this time that when he turned to leave the Press Room, applause broke out. I swivelled my head to see which hacks could possibly be breaking the rule of the brotherhood that we do not clap for anyone.<br />
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What I saw were a lot of journalists not clapping, but a scattering of people who appeared to be commission staff members. They had come and sat among the journalists, and they were the ones doing the clapping. How convenient. For the television cameras present -- especially for Barroso's own 24-hour duty film crew -- it looked like the massed ranks of the Brussels press corps were applauding him.<br />
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We weren't.<br />
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As for the EU winning the Nobel Prize for Peace, as one wag pointed out after Barroso left, 'They'd hardly win it for economics.'<br />
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<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://synonblog.dailymail.co.uk/2012/10/top-eurocrat-says-the-nobel-prize-means-we-must-now-cherish-the-eu.html">http://synonblog.dailymail.co.uk/2012/1 ... he-eu.html</a><!-- m -->

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