Friday, 12 October 2012

EU grants official candidate status to Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia

The economic geniuses on the continent have finally found the answer to all our financial problems - they're giving official candidate status to Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia.

Official candidate status means the EU accepts the idea of their membership in principal and paves the way for an official application to join.  Kosovo is the second poorest country in Europe, Albania the fourth and Macedonia the sixth poorest.  They're poorer than Greece which has already had a couple of bailouts and is impossibly bankrupt.  Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Cyprus - all of them having had a bailout or on the brink of having one - will all have to pay more into the coffers (as will we of course) to bail out Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia from day one.  It's perverse!

The decision is a contentious one for more reasons than the utter insanity of taking in the poorest countries in Europe and pledging to spend billions on them every year to stop them failing.  The EU is referring to Macedonia as Macedonia when the Greeks insist on them being called the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in case calling them Macedonia legitimises a claim the Macedonians haven't even made to the Greek province of Macedonia.  It's like the Americans insisting on calling England the Former British Republic of England in case we decided to lay a claim to the state of New England.  Whether the Greek government objects to this will be an indication of the extent of EU control over the Greek vichy government.  And as for Kosovo - Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Slovakia and Spain don't even recognise Kosovo as an independent state but the EU's own lawyers have concluded that it doesn't matter if a fifth of EU member states don't recognise Kosovo, they can go ahead and conclude treaties with them anyway.

The EU Foreign Affairs Committee didn't just stop at granting Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia candidate status to show their detachment from reality - they also criticised the lack of progress of the Icelandic application for EU membership.  Romanian MEP Cristian Preda said "the progress does not reflect the feelings of the Icelanders about the enlargement".  Domnu Preda is correct - opinion polls in Iceland show that something like 70% of Icelanders are opposed to EU membership and Icelandic business leaders are similarly cool to the idea so far from progressing the application, it should have been abandoned long ago or even better, not even started.