RE: Barroso joins V4 criticism of Blair, Flash News, December 1, 2005
The subsidies to the poorer new members are not entirely an act of charity.
First of all, a lot of the spending is on transport corridors that will enable the old EU easier access to new markets and sources of cheap labour even further East and South.
Secondly, the aid is a trade-off for the new members implementing at once all the environmental, health and safety regulations that the West has spent years putting in place. This is not just because the EU is sentimental about the habitats of aquatic birds in Eastern Europe, it is designed to stop the East offering competition to the West, especially in agriculture.
Thirdly, by creating work in the East, you save all our workers coming to you (and by sponsoring bright people to fill in application forms and the less bright to build things you help to stop the East becoming a rich competitor).
If Blair & Co want to tear up their contract with the new members they can do so, but they may not like the consequences and they had jolly well better shut up about tax competition and open their labour markets.
12. Dec 2005 at 0:00