Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The BBC - Blair says EU rebate 'has to go':
Mr Blair said: "We have made it clear all the way through that we are prepared not just to discuss and negotiate upon, but to recognise that the rebate is an anomaly that has to go, but it has to go in the context of the other anomaly being changed away."
Looks like he's beginning to play this well and win support. Der Spiegel agrees - Blair Leads Calls for EU Reform:
"Sifting through the wreckage of last week's European Union summit in Brussels, German editorialists find two areas of agreement on Tuesday. First, Tony Blair did act like a schmuck. Second, he's totally right about the colossal agricultural budget -- it needs to be axed."

2 Comments:

Anonymous inactualfact said...

Much as I'm (gratefully) surprised that Blair didn't cave on this one, after reading the Spiegel review of newspaper coverage in Germany I have a couple of points to add: I haven't seen a single mainstream article that explains why the rebate came into being (although I'll happily admit to not looking too hard) and as far as the public opinion-forming ARD TV News shows have been reporting, they've been giving the impression that rather than being a net contributor (they pointedly state that Germany is the largest net contributor with €7bn), the UK rebate is actually the net amount that the UK receives from the EU.

6/22/2005 10:37:00 am  
Anonymous inactualfact said...

I take it all back. Blair has an interview in Bild "EU Money For Jobs, Not Cows" today and they have several editorials along the lines of "How the EU Wastes Our Money".
It's very Blair, very clever; getting his point across whilst saying what his audience wants to hear at the same time.

6/22/2005 11:41:00 am  

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