From bad to worse

For all their leftist rhetoric about human rights, the Europeans can't seem to practice what they preach to the rest of us barbarians. I wonder if it has anything to do with the Islamists in Europe, after all we are well aware of what they would like to see happen to homosexuals. I won't go into the details but it involves cranes and ropes.
The mayor of Amsterdam has sent letters to his counterparts in eight European cities warning that gay intolerance is on the increase and asking them to uphold homosexual rights such as allowing gays to get married and to hold demonstrations.

Job Cohen said he is "particularly concerned by the news that homophobic attitude and behaviour is propagated by measures and policies of local authorities in some of the new EU-member states," according to the AFP news agency.

Mr Cohen's letter was sent to mayors in Warsaw, Prague, Lisbon, Dublin, Vienna and in the Baltic capitals of Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius, as well as to EU justice commissioner Franco Frattini. The move comes after a motion by city councillors, concerned by recent attacks on homosexuals in Europe.
Whilst Mayors are concerned about minority rights and the need to protest, it seems there are more pressing matters, like putting food on the table in the next decade or so.
Prominent Belgian economist Paul de Grauwe has argued the euro is bound to collapse in 10 to 20 years as there is no clear progress towards a political union in Europe.

Professor De Grauwe from the Catholic University of Leuven, advocated the creation of the common currency in the 1990s but his forthcoming research paper will present evidence of the euro's risks for the future, news agency AFP reports.

"A political union is the logical end-point of a currency union," Mr De Grauwe told Belgian weekly, The Business, adding "The monetary union will collapse ... not next year, but on a time frame of 10 or 20 years. There is not a single monetary union which survived without political union. They have all collapsed."

Economists point out that the common currency was established with the view to creating more jobs, higher growth and lower prices, but the current situation is far less optimistic. Growth is around two percent a year in the 12-member eurozone and high unemployment - above 8 percent – remains.

These problems relate to the poor record of individual member states in pursuing reforms to improve economic performance, but the EU has little powers to sanction them for failing to do so.
The French politicians tried that recently, but were terribly thrashed (not literally) by the citizens, hell bent on making no progress, so I wouldn't be making any bets on future improvements there.
The Belgian economist is not the only expert to raise the issue. The same point was made at last week's hearing of a new member of the European Central Bank's board, German Bundesbank's vice president Jurgen Stark.

"The EU currently is in a critical phase," Mr Stark told MEPs on Tuesday (15 April), adding "I am concerned about these trends because monetary union ... needs a common political foundation and a political commitment to function smoothly."
On a, perhaps unrelated topic, does anyone know what the European Commission does? I dozed off after reading about it on Wikipedia, something about pillars, parallels, legislation and thousands of paper pushers. Well, whatever it is, they are not doing it very well.
The European Commission is mediocre in terms of administrative efficiency, the EU Ombudsman said on Monday (24 April), with some Belgian politicians keen to introduce a "Kafka index" for Brussels.

"The commission is more or less half way along the line," Nikiforos Diamandouros said while presenting his 2005 annual report on EU red tape, explaining that old EU democracies have the highest standards with young EU democracies lagging in the east.

"The commission was established on the French model of public administration and has all the difficulties and all the advantages of this model," he added.
See there's your problem right there, you took the French model. This barbarian from the land down under can tell you that, you should not need any fancy committees or waffling around tables to figure that one out.

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