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darko
06-11-2005, 10:22 AM
The G8 agreement on debt helps to right one of the worst economic and political decisions ever taken - the assumption that huge loans to poor countries as they became independent would enable them to become rich.

Instead they became even poorer and only now is the wrong being put right.

The British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Chancellor Gordon Brown can feel some satisfaction that they have got this deal and have got it in advance of the G8 summit in Scotland next month.

It is giving Mr Blair a good send-off as he leaves, as G8 chairman, to see fellow G8 leaders Putin, Schroeder and Chirac over the next couple of days, followed by a visit to Luxembourg whose presidency of the EU Britain will take over in July.

Opening the door

Tony Blair is being praised by those who were recently lambasting him and his friend George Bush, whose support for the debt plan may have been late but was certainly vital.

Maybe there was payback for Iraq after all.


Max Lawson, policy adviser at the British charity Oxfam, who said a week ago that the American approach was 'dastardly', now says: "We are very pleased. This is a really great step forward. It gets the principle of 100% write-off established and unexpectedly opens the door to new countries to get their debt written off.

"However, we are still asking for a doubling of aid to $50bn a year and we reckon that this debt package will deliver up to $2bn in relief each year, so there is a lot to play for and we now concentrate on this before Gleneagles."

Bad old days

With G8, if not in the bag, then at least guaranteed one major success, Mr Blair will have more time to discuss with Mr Schroeder and Mr Chirac the future of the EU.

It shows perhaps how little has changed underneath in Europe



Here, a row over the British rebate has suddenly thrown relations back to the bad old days of Margaret Thatcher and Francois Mitterrand, when the rebate was at first argued over and finally agreed.

It is startling how this old argument has resurfaced with emotions almost unchanged from 1984, when Mrs Thatcher finally won her point at the Fontainebleau summit.

Those of us who reported that debate and decision and who certainly hoped we would never have to do so again find the rhetoric exactly the same.

As the man said, it is déjà vu all over again. The British accuse the others, especially the French, of being unfair and the French lead the others in saying that the British are greedy.

It shows perhaps how little has changed underneath in Europe.

Party over


The script is the same; only the cast of characters is different.


It is perhaps surprising though that Mr Blair and Mr Chirac have allowed things to get so out of hand given that the French president was at one time at least almost like an uncle to the British prime minister and his young family.


The EU is providing fresh challenges


But then that was before the infamous French vote on the constitution.

Now the European party is over.

And the irony is that one of the organisers of the party has itself popped the balloon. And is blaming that perennial party-pooper, perfidious Albion.

Mr Blair suddenly finds himself in a much more powerful position than he did when he was isolated in Europe over Iraq.

The French have got him off the hook over his referendum. He has a veto over the rebate and G8 is going much better than the sceptics predicted.

But he would probably prefer the EU not to be in quite such dire straits.

Dithering


The fact is that the EU at the moment is a dithering non-entity. It is dithering because it cannot decide on its own future and it is a non-entity because it has no centre and no mechanism right now of getting one.

And that assumes that it even wants a centre, which more and more of its citizens doubt.

It is unlikely that any solution can be found either to the rebate issue or the constitution at the EU summit, which follows next week immediately after Mr Blair's G8 tour.

Which analogy is most apt for Europe? That Rome was not built in a day or that Humpty Dumpty was never put back together again?

Do you this this G8 summit is going to do well?

and yet all the wives wanna do is have days trips!


I find it quite amusing.....who case about the afrian people as long as we {the wives} get our day trips!

wheelchairman
06-12-2005, 03:40 AM
I find your creative concept of spelling to be even more amusing.

darko
06-12-2005, 05:04 AM
yeah i know! i blame the education system myself!

darko
06-12-2005, 11:34 AM
I find your creative concept of spelling to be even more amusing.

but what do you think about the G8 Summit