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EU Under Fire, Here And There

  • October 25th, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

gillard.jpgBarracking from the sidelines as the European Union, and the Eurozone group within it, grapple for a crisis solution on the Euro and bad debt, could be heard this week all the way from Australia; and from even further away, in terms of mentality – from certain back-benches in the House of Commons.


The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard (picture), told the Commonwealth heads of Government, at Perth (25.10.11), the Europeans needed to smarten up their economic management, and decision-making processes, because the crisis was harmful to all.

“While the epicentre of the crisis is Europe, all of us as Commonwealth member nations stand to suffer if the correct response is not forthcoming”, she said.

“This would include those of us in Commonwealth countries who have worked so hard to maintain prudent financial oversight and balanced growth, those of us who have worked so hard, especially in Africa, to boost governance, democracy and the rule of law, those of us who rely upon the flow of remittances from our workers abroad to sustain our economies at home. So we look to Europe for decisive action.

“European leaders will need to stabilise the situation by resolving sovereign debt issues and ensure there are adequate safeguards to avoid contagion.

”Europe also needs to ensure that its private banks are adequately capitalised to ensure stability and growth.”


In London, the Conservative Party’s “Eurosceptics” faction contributed over 80 votes to111 cast in support of a Commons vote, 24.10.11 for a “stay in – walk out” referendum on the EU.

Other Members followed their whips, 483 voting no to the move.

Said a commentary in the Guardian, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, found himself “simultaneously pandering to Tory anti-Europeanism while also explaining why British interests rightly require a place at the EU top table.”

The anti-EU push looks to be a mix of patriotism, Europhobia, and trust in a market economy, more free of regulation, able to operate in a “small” EU – a broad customs union rather than a federal one complete with “social Europe” consciousness.

Opposite-minded types in other European parliaments have been known to suggest: “How about you leave?”, or “Get in a bit deeper, or get out.”

In each case where go-it-alone alternatives are encountered, an inventory has to be taken of the economic ad vantages of playing in the bigger field, and in more complex structures of the EU this Century; and often-enough the answer comes back: keeping it going will cost, giving it up, in the end may cost a lot more.

See EUAustralia Online, “Europe debts: pause between summits”, 25.10.11; “Weekend warriors on world econ omy”, 17.10.11.


The Guardian, Manchester, Editorial, “Conservatives and Europe: learned nothing, forgotten nothing”, 24.10.11.

BBC, London, “EU referendum: Rebels lose vote in Commons”, 25.10.11., (25.10.11)., Melbourne, “Gillard rallies Commonwealth against Europe”, 25.10.11., (25.10.11).