Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Gloves Have Come Off

This is really getting to be fun.
Poland invokes Nazi occupation to bolster EU case

European leaders today gathered in Brussels for a bruising battle over the future of Europe, with Britain and Poland, the two main obstacles to a deal on a new treaty on how the EU is run, pledging no surrender on their key demands.

Under the chairmanship of the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, the leaders of 27 states launched an attempt to hammer out a consensus on a "reform treaty" replacing the defunct European constitution.

As Germany sought to lower expectations about a breakthrough after six months of closed-door negotiations on the new deal, Tony Blair announced he was prepared to walk away from the Brussels summit if Britain's four key demands were not met.

Poland, meanwhile, raised old grievances about Germany from the second world war to try to bolster its case for a "fairer" voting system in running the EU.

The Polish prime minister, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, made the extraordinary claim that it would be eligible for more votes in the EU if the Nazis had not invaded Poland in 1939.
Funny how an inconvenient truth is considered as merely extraordinary.
------ ker-snip ------
Mr Kaczynski's statement meanwhile laid bare the strength of the anti-German emotion underpinning the Polish position.

Under current arrangements dating from 2000, Germany has 29 votes to Poland's 27 in EU councils, the ministerial level meetings of member states.

The new system is based on population sizes, and gives Germany more than double the Polish vote. The Poles are incensed and are demanding a new way of calculating votes that would diminish German "hegemony".

"If Poland had not had to live through the years of 1939-45, Poland would be today looking at the demographics of a country of 66 million," Mr Kaczynski said.

The Polish prime minister again threatened to "veto" agreement at the summit today. But he also appeared to leave himself room for a climbdown.

"The situation still does not satisfy us," Mr Kaczynski told the Warsaw newspaper, Rzeczpospolita.

"We should do everything to push through our proposal or to obtain some other solution that would equally satisfy our ambitions. Either we obtain that, or there will be a veto."
Some climbdown.

More like an "Up yours!"

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