Neil Kinnock, the ridiculous windbag who used to lead Britain's Labor (Labour) Party- the Socialists - is not as daft as he looks. He and his wife Glenys could have cleaned up £7 million between them in EU salaries and perks. Furthermore, Mrs. Kinnock clocked up 127,465 air miles in one year on publicly funded 'fact-finding' missions for the European Parliament.She now "retires" on a pension of £66,000 a year. Do they still believe in the redistribuituion of wealth? Alan Franklin
Here's more from around the corrupt superstate of Europe.
Glenys Kinnock's appointment as Europe Minister "descends into farce"
The London Daily Mail, which supplies one of the freepress news tickers, reports that the appointment of Glenys Kinnock, wife of Britain's former Labour leader and EU Commissioner Neil Kinnock, as Gordon Brown's new Europe Minister has "descended into farce" amid confusion over her employment status. The Telegraph notes that despite arriving at the Foreign Office to begin work, her exact status remained unclear while she continued to hold her seat as an MEP in the European Parliament. Under the Parliament's rules, Mrs Kinnock is not allowed to serve as a minister in a national Government until she steps down.
The article notes that "during a confused appearance on Sky News on Monday it initially appeared that she was planning to remain as an MEP until July 11 when her mandate would expire." As she attempted to explain the situation, Mark Francois, the Shadow Europe Minister, interrupted to ask whether she was staying on as an MEP in order to avoid losing out on pension entitlements. He said, "Is it because of the pension?" The article notes that Mrs. Kinnock later wrote a "hasty" resignation letter to the President of the European Parliament.
The article cites Open Europe's finding that Neil and Glenys Kinnock could have received around £7 million between them in salaries and allowances from their respective jobs with the EU. Mrs Kinnock is in line to receive an annual pension worth about £66,000 a year as a former MEP. The Mail quotes Open Europe saying, "The appointment of Glenys Kinnock is quickly turning into a shambles. The Government is all over the place on Europe. Yesterday's election results show it needs to get its act together sooner rather than later."
El Confidencial cites Open Europe's finding that Mrs. Kinnock clocked up 127,465 air miles in one year on publicly funded 'fact-finding' missions for the European Parliament.
Open Europe's Lorraine Mullally appeared live on GMTV this morning, to discuss Open Europe's findings about MEPs' expenses and the annual £1.8 million cost to the taxpayer of a single Member of the European Parliament.
Open Europe's Mats Persson appeared on BBC World's Business Report yesterday, discussing the success of the centre-right parties in the European elections, and its implication for the reduction of regulation.
BNP could be entitled to £5.2m in EU funds over five years
Citing research from Open Europe, the Mail reports that over the next five years the far right British National Party could pocket £5.2 million of taxpayers' money to spread its message across Europe. Party leader Nick Griffin and his fellow MEP Andrew Brons will get paid more than £446,000 each in salary, office and travel allowances every year. In addition, if the party is able to form a new party grouping in the European Parliament, the BNP will be entitled to 'political expenditure' worth £36,755 a year and around £110,798 in administrative support.
The Telegraph notes that in comparison, in 2007, the BNP raised just £500,000 and in the first five months of this year are said to have raised £650,000.
The Guardian reports that the BNP's coalition partners in any new far right grouping are likely to include the anti-Gypsy Jobbik extremists in Hungary, the Greater Romania party, the Slovak nationalists, the Austrian Freedom party, the French Front National, and the Italian Northern League. Official recognition for group status in the European Parliament requires 25 MEPs from a geographical spread of at least seven of the EU's 27 states. The Mail notes that if Mr Griffin takes charge of a new coalition of extremist parties, he would be entitled to a chauffeur-driven car.
Telegraph: EPP 'declares war' on Conservatives over Lisbon Treaty;
Conservatives are "on track" to form new group in European Parliament
[SEE “The effects of Brown” 8/6/09 and “Inflation ? Deflation? We're on the rocks!” and “The 'green shoots' are weeds” both of 7/6/09]
The Telegraph reports that the European Parliament's centre-right EPP grouping, the Conservatives' former partners in the EP, has 'declared war' on David Cameron and said a Conservative government must not be allowed to derail the Lisbon Treaty. Joseph Daul, the Chairman of EPP and close ally of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, has said the European Parliament's number one priority must be defeating Conservative opposition to the Lisbon Treaty, adding that "even though the Conservatives have left, we will work to make sure the Lisbon Treaty comes into force at the end of the year. We regret all demagoguery and populism. We will do this even if David Cameron threatens a referendum."
Shadow Europe Minister Mark Francois responded saying: "The EPP are entitled to their view, but so are the British people." A European diplomat is quoted saying: "No one wants an election in Britain, not because of any special affection for Gordon Brown but because an early election would threaten the Lisbon Treaty. That cannot happen."
Reporting on EU concerns about the situation in Britain, FT Deutschland quotes German Social Democrat MEP Jo Leinen as saying that the decision to call a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty would lead to the UK "having to look for another relationship with the EU".
The FT's Philip Stephens looks at Labour's political crisis and argues that the Lisbon Treaty is "at stake". He goes on to write, "Hang on in there, Mr Brown. Europe needs you for a while yet. The alternative could be a Conservative prime minister leading Britain towards the European exit. He adds: "Withdrawal from the EPP is a Tory shot across the bows of European integrationists. Wrecking the Lisbon treaty would be a declaration of war. Such would be the crisis in Britain's relationship with its partners that it would precipitate compelling calls for a re-evaluation of its membership of the EU."
Meanwhile, according to the Guardian, the Conservatives are "on track to form an alliance of Eurosceptics" in the European Parliament, quoting a Conservative source saying: "there will be some movement in the next few days in Brussels," while adding: "we're pretty confident we'll get them all there. It's just a question of finalising things."
Reform to MEPs' pay will have big impact in poorer countries
The Express reports that incoming UK MEPs are due to enjoy a 20 percent pay rise, with their pay rising to around £80,000 a year - £15,000 more than Westminster MPs. The article notes that the new system of harmonised pay for MEPs will have most impact in poorer countries such as Bulgaria where MEPs will earn around 50 times more than the average salary. Open Europe is quoted saying, "The huge gaps in pay will tempt the most talented people away from national politics." [And cause massive resentment too -cs]
Private Eye's Brussels Sprouts column asks "how many of the UK's laws emanate from Brussels?" The article quotes Lord Trimble speaking at last month's Open Europe debate saying, "Since national parliaments don't get the possibility to scrutinise, things are getting worse."
UK City Minister: EU proposals for financial supervision "risk undermining the ability of governments to confront future crises"
[Any crisis is seen as good for federalist anti-democratic ambitions -cs]
In the FT, City Minister Lord Myners looks at the EU Commission's proposals for more pan-EU financial supervision noting that the "proposals raise a number of fundamental concerns that must be resolved before these reforms can be taken forward." He argues "By proposing to move some financial supervision powers from national to European level, the Commission's proposals risk undermining the ability of governments to confront future crises. At worst, they risk breaking the vital link between national supervision of banks and national crisis management. National supervision must be pre-eminent when the cost of the failure of an institution lies with the taxpayer."
He goes on to argue that the proposed European systemic risk council - intended to act as an early warning system for the kinds of risks that led to the current crisis - cannot "effectively or credibly represent the whole of the EU" if it will be chaired by the President of the ECB. He concludes, "It is worth reiterating that there is much in the Commission's proposals that we welcome, including greater co-ordination of rule-making and standards. If anything, we would go further and establish a single European rule-making body."
Merkel and Sarkozy meet to prepare for key EU summit
The FT notes that Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel will meet in Paris on Thursday to prepare for the EU summit on June 18 that will focus on introducing more financial regulation and supervision, sharing the cost of the EU's climate change policies, as well as deciding the 'guarantees' the Irish will get on the Lisbon Treaty ahead of a second referendum on the text.
Mario Monti: The economic crisis provides an opportunity for further EU integration
[Again - taking advantage of a crisis is the hallmark of the EU -cs]
The Coulisses de Bruxelles blog reports that, in an interview with Le Monde, former EU Internal Market Commissioner, and a possible candidate for the presidency of the Commission, Mario Monti has argued that the economic crisis provides an opportunity for further European integration saying that, "with the crisis, the hierarchy of Anglo-Saxon models and social economy of markets is again being discussed. It is an unexpected occasion to forge a compromise capable of relaunching Europe", adding that Anglo-Saxons and new member states "must accept fiscal coordination".
Monti also emphasises that it is necessary to reconcile the markets with social issues. However, he adds that "I have never been Keynesian, but I think that Europe has not been (Keynesian) enough the one time in 60 years when it should have been. A stronger EU budget would enable it to go beyond the poor effort of national coordination which we have seen". Monti concludes "the alternative is simple: the disintegration of Europe".
Barroso confirms he will stand for second mandate as Commission President
El Mundo reports that, during a meeting with Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer, Commission President José Manuel Barroso has officially announced that he will stand for a second mandate.
ABC reports that Barroso said the successful election results for the EPP have enabled him to "clarify his position".
However, EUobserver reports that the EPP will need allies in the European Parliament to secure backing for Barroso, and Green leader Daniel Cohn-Bendit has called for an alliance to stop Barroso's re-election. Belgian daily HLN reports that the Conservatives' new grouping could serve as a 'kingmaker' to get Barroso a majority in the European Parliament if the Socialist grouping don't support him.
Libertas leader Declan Ganley quits politics
The Irish Independent reports that Libertas leader Declan Ganley last night announced that he is quitting politics to return to the private sector, following a re-count yesterday. Ganley said "I have said I would seek a mandate. It's pretty clear that I did not get that. I can take no for an answer, I'm a democrat."
The article notes that the move could affect the second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland, as Ganley had announced that he would not take part in the 'No' campaign if he was not elected as an MEP.
European Voice notes that Libertas "had an abysmal election", with only 1 MEP (Philippe de Villiers) being elected, despite fielding more than 600 candidates in 14 member states.
Europe's Left falls behind in elections;
Rachman: Rise of political extremes in EP could generate some interest
[The Telegraph's 'take' on this is the demand by the IMF that European banks should disclose the extent of their losses -cs]
There is widespread coverage of the collapse of support for the Left in the European elections, with a leader in the Times arguing, "The leadership of European social democratic parties in one country after another has been poor. They could win, but they do not."
The WSJ argues that the election results suggest that many German voters have written off the country's main left-leaning party, with the junior governing coalition partner, the Social Democrats, receiving their worst result in a nationwide vote in the postwar era, winning 21 percent of the vote. The FT's Brussels blog describes the Social Democrat's candidate for Chancellor, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, as one of the big losers of the elections.
The FT reports that the centre-right EPP group in the European Parliament looked likely to emerge with more than 260 seats.
The Telegraph reports that proposals to reform EU voting could be tabled next year to shake up the electoral system, and see voters asked to cast their ballots for European groupings, rather than political parties.
Meanwhile, writing in the FT, Gideon Rachman reports that extreme-right and extreme-left parties could now account for about 12 percent of the new European Parliament, and that "Oddly enough, the rise of the political extremes could achieve one of the long-held ambitions of ardent pro-Europeans - by generating some interest in the doings of the European parliament."
Writing in the Independent, John Curtice argues that UKIP could present a real obstacle to the Conservatives in a General Election, in which the Mail reports that UKIP hopes to field 500 candidates.
The EU Referendum blog reports that Telegraph journalist Bruno Waterfield reported that the EU Parliament has passed 404 laws since the last elections in 2004. Another 233 are in the pipeline, meaning that MEPs are currently "churning out" two pieces of EU law a week.
The International Monetary Fund has warned that the lack of a coordinated and aggressive recovery plan for eurozone banks could hamper economic recovery in the 16 eurozone countries.
According to the WSJ, Latvia is wrestling with control of its currency, and is in talks with the IMF to secure a £1.2 billion rescue package.
European Voice reports that Poland could block a deal which aims to help developing countries adapt to climate change using EU funding, due to the way contributions are partly calculated according to historic emissions. EU finance ministers will try to reach an agreement on these proposals today in Luxembourg.
Libération reports that the European Commission has "saved traditional rosé wine" by announcing that it would abandon plans to allow wine producers to mix red and white wine and call it rosé wine.
In a letter to the Times, Bill Cash MP writes that with a series of policies on the EU including support for his "supremacy of Parliament amendment, which would allow passage of Westminster legislation to override European legislation...the Conservative Party is guaranteed total victory and No 10."
[SEE "ComRes poll speculates on 'What if' in changes to Labour leadership" sent yesterday. An example of - "If you ask a silly question, you'll get a silly answer" -cs]
EUobserver reports that eurozone finance ministers yesterday rejected French proposals to weaken the budget deficit rules of the Growth and Stability Pact.
ComRes poll indicates Johnson leadership could result in hung Parliament
The Independent reports that a new ComRes poll for the paper has indicated that if Labour replaced Gordon Brown with Home Secretary Alan Johnson they could deny the Conservatives an overall majority at the next General Election. The poll indicated that with Gordon Brown as PM, the Conservatives would win an overall majority of 74, but under Johnson, the Conservatives would be six seats short of a majority in a hung Parliament.
Insert key words to search our site and archives
Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he sees. (That is what this website is all about.)