You could not make it up. The EU is busy lecturing all its member states to get their budget deficits down. Well they are not always wrong. They are telling states to cut spending and raise more tax revenue. At the same time they want them to pursue a growth strategy, which needs lower tax rates, not higher. So why on earth are they at the same time demanding a higher spending budget for themelves?
Surely as they demand or impose austerity on struggling Euro members, they should be taking the lead and pruning their own budgets? It would be good if they showed the way, by proposing an eye catching 10% off through efficiency savings and a smaller overhead. Even better if they proved they do now believe in subsidiarity and local decisions, by offering to cut out whole programmes. Why not end most of the agricultural programme and leave that to individual member states, who could achieve more for less? Why not end the EU’s programme of overseas aid, and let states do their own thing in the parts of the world they know best? And why not repatriate fishing policy whilst they are about. it. That would make them popular for once in the UK.
Given the scale of the financial crisis being hurled at the EU it is time for radical reforms and brave departures. It is time for the EU government to give us a lead. They say they mean it when they urge lower deficits and lower spending. Surely then they need to pioneer, trail blaze, blast a way through the EU satrapies themselves. Then we might believe them when they say the way out of this crisis is better housekeeping.
They should see the growing restlessness of electorates around the EU. Many more people are coming to realise there is no more money. There are limits to how much Germany, the UK and France can finance, limits to how much subsidy can be transferred, limits to how much taxpayers throughout the EU are prepared to pay for their European government. The EU should note that the bond markets strongly believe Greece will be the first but maybe not the only EU state which will renege on its debt because it has borrowed and spent too much. Why doesn’t the EU help it by cutting its own spending, instead of giving it more expensive lectures on austerity and putting up the bill for those same lectures?