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Society

ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Un méthode de gouvernement

by Maurice Ulrich

A Method of Government

Translated Sunday 4 October 2009, by Isabelle Métral and reviewed by Henry Crapo

The question that will be submitted to Irish electors for the second time in the October 3 referendum is this: “”Do you agree to vote “yes” to the Lisbon treaty?” Irish electors had already answered “no”, but since “no” is not the correct answer, they have no choice but to answer it once more. As many times as proves necessary?

Maybe. For the question implies another question which can be put in this way: “Do you agree to vote “yes” to the Lisbon treaty and shoot yourself in the foot, or would you rather give them the choice of which cane they should use to beat you?”

That is the real issue at stake in the outrageous method we mean to expose here: European Commission President Barroso was no sooner elected last week than he went off to Ireland in person to shower the Dell workers in Limerick with crocodile tears and to promise them EU aid. But news broke out yesterday that Dell was to set up a plant in Lodz (in Poland) with 50 million euro in public aid and the blessing of the European commission and its president Manuel Barroso.

One has rarely pushed duplicity and cynicism to such an extreme. The news glaringly exposes the realities of Europe today: how it has been built and how it continues to be built. Two weeks ago, the European socialists’ president Martin Schulz stepped out of Jose Manuel Barroso’s way in return for various compensations and posts, and on the pretext (despite the man’s compulsive commitment to free market policies) that he must be given a chance, and could be relied upon, to make amends.

A pretty safe bet it proves to be!

EUL (the European United Left - including the five French Left Front deputies) voted against him, as did the ecologists (Daniel Cohn-Bendit however saying that he would have preferred François Fillon to be candidate…). Needless to say, the French rightwing deputies voted for Barroso.

In his September 23 speech on TV Nicolas Sarkozy sounded more determined than ever to wage war on the excesses of capitalism. Were we in for a diplomatic incident between the French president and the EU president at the Pittsburgh G20 meeting? With Nicolas Sarkozy pulling Barroso’s ears, maybe, before publicly exposing the scandal?

But we have not forgotten how he gave in at the previous G20 meeting, and how no later than last summer, even as the BNP gave out one billion euros to its traders, all commentators, even the most lenient among them, conceded that no tangible result had been achieved. But the president sees farther ahead. So much farther ahead that on September 23 he boldly declared (as though the bolder the lie is, the more chances it stands of being received) that “we’ve done with tax havens’. In Switzerland, in Liechtenstein, in Luxemburg they must be still laughing about it! Even if a few timid measures were actually announced on bonuses, this would not change the system at all – not in the least – The Dell scandal is ample evidence to the contrary.

Nicolas Sarkozy most dramatically waved his arms about as usual, but in real fact all he really announced was the pursuit of a policy in conformity with the free-market tenets and of the breaking-up of the French welfare system – despite the fact that many economists consider that the system has protected French people from the crisis rather better than have other countries’ systems. A hundred thousand posts to be slashed in the public services and administration, a new tax promised with the carbon tax, taxes on their compensation money for the victims of accidents at work…. Just as we have Manuel Barroso crying in Ireland and laughing in Poland, we have Nicolas Sarkozy using lies as a very alarming government strategy.


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