Wednesday, June 16, 2004

I haven't managed to update you on the European elections yet, partly because it's a difficult task: there's no general line. Basically people did not vote for any high-spirited European idea but used the poll to express their disgust with national policies.

Like I said, European politicians fail to make the broader purpose of a USE clear to the public.

Related to all this is the fact the Belgian PM, Guy Verhofstadt, just was screwed by the Brits in his bid to become the next Chairman of the European Commission.

At the back of my mind I must admit that I, being a (nutty) Belgian, would have been somewhat proud to see our PM as the "European President", because that's what it's meant to be(come).

On the other hand, and this sentiment gains the upper hand, I say: Well done Brits! To be sure, Verhofstadt was once my hero. He literally re-crafted the (Flemish) Liberal Party. Now mind you, in years now gone "Liberal" in Europe meant (moderate) rightwing, whereas we call our leftwingers socialists. Remember how we use the term "High School" differently on both sides of the Atlantic. Anyway, Verhofstadt has been an enigma in Belgian politics for almost two decades. He reinvigoured the party while he was only 27, held the very important post of Minister of Budget in 1983 at 33 (!) and distinguished himself by his energy, intellect and ability to inspire people. He has been Prime Minister since 1999, when the ruling Christian Democratic Party CVP succumbed in the wake of a food scandal.

While his first term (1999-2003) could be called a moderate success, he screwed up completely, IMNSHO, during his second term. I don't have the time to elaborate on his tenure. Ministers from his party - formerly mine - did achieve successes in lowering taxes for companies, and providing some sorely needed rectifications in the social status of entrepreneurs and owners of businesses (enabling you to benefit from some SS support after only 1 month if you become invalid, as opposed to three months, improving the social status of co-working wives of self-employed people etc. etc.). In other fields some progress was made too.

Nevertheless, over the past year I grew increasingly frustrated with Mr. Verhofstadt because of the following reasons:

1° Opposing the US-led Operation Iraqi Freedom
2° Allowing a pompous lunatic like our so-called Foreign Minister Louis Michel to bash the US at every conceivable opportunity
3° Ditto for our Secretary of Defense, make that Asshole of Surrender, André Flahaut
4° Waiting much too long to abolish the INSANE so-called "Genocide Law", under which Belgian Maoists filed suit against former President Bush, a.o.
5° At a time when we ought to stand firm within the NATO framework with you, our allies, organize a Defense Top in Brussels with France, Germany and Luxembourg (!) about a separate European Defense

and lastly, and this is what really did it for me:

6° Allow Socialist/Green dominated parliament to pass a law granting immigrants who do not even want to assume our nationality the right to vote in municipal councils.

Upon that folly, I quit Verhofstadts party (and mine for nearly twenty years), the VLD, and joined the Vlaams Blok. Tony Blair is a Socialist, but I would rather vote for him than for my erstwhile "hero".

Hey, Scott posted an excellent article from VDH just before mine. I do not want to appear as claiming too much attention, just thought this was really an important event to follow - there's a fierce battle going on for Head of the EU. So if you haven't, go back and follow the VDH link provided my Mr. Frizzle.


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