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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Blair for president of Europe!

Blair has been endorsed as a future President of Europe by Nicolas Sarkozy, according to the FT. And the non-denial-denials coming out of Downing Street this morning are about as strong as a wilted lettuce-leaf.

Well - he has to pay the bills somehow, and that house in Connaught Square isn't cheap.

No-one has really thought about it yet, but what is the 'package' for the new President going to look like? It would have to be bigger than Barroso's surely - after all we can't have the impression that the civil servants are running the whole show (hint: they are).

Jose's basic is about £180,000 a year, and when he retires he can expect a chunky £120,000 a year pension. So no worries about turning up the gas fire a bit then.

He also gets about £27,000 for accommodation and £7000 for entertaining. There may also be some kind of daily allowance.

Also nice - is the 24-hour chauffeur. You get to pick out a car worth up to £75,000. Barroso, being a red-blooded type, has plumped for an environmentally-devastating VW 4x4 Touareg. Blair would presumably want something a bit greener.

Eventually of course the goal is to have a directly elected US-style president. Indeed, Sarkozy backed a directly elected EU President during the French elections, signing a call for one from the NGO Europanova.

Then there will be the most awesome elections. Imagine the auction of contradictory promises that a European Presidential candidate will need to make to win: a promise of sausages for all in Poland, and compulsory vegetarianism in Holland. A super-sensible calvinist clampdown on drinking in Sweden, and a pledge to introduce a two-drink minimum for driving on the roads of southern Italy.

Only one man can make these kind of paradoxical pledges. We'll certainly be backing Blair against Chirac in 2012.


Anonymous said...

So, the Commission is 'running the whole show'? Have you ever heard of the Council and the European Parliament? Your criticisms of the EU are often valid, but why don't you take care to get basic facts straight?

Anonymous said...

Glad someone else appreciates OE's sometimes cavalier disdain for institutional issues.