Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Germany backs France on Farm Aid

This is just the sort of disgusting, cynical, selfish stitch-up one normally expects from the French and German governments. After all that talk of "multilateralism", these two utterly amoral entities decided to go behind the backs of the rest of the E.U.'s governments and come to an agreement to prevent any reform to the Common Agricultural Policy.

What is most infuriating is that this action, which stands to wreck any hope of the Doha round of trade negotiations succeeding, harms precisely those third world countries on whose behalf Chirac was presuming to speak not so long ago. In this deal we see the real motivation behind Chirac's sudden intransigence towards any move to tighten the noose on Saddam: he and Schr�der had agreed to a quid pro quo, in which Chirac's willingness to stand by Schr�der, and prevent him from looking isolated in his opposition, was to be repaid by torpedoing any hope of reforming the repulsive system of subsidies that currently impoverishes European consumers and third world citizens alike. Is there any wonder I view the "European Idea" with such disdain?