Credit: D Storan

Micheál: The EU needs more money & power, lads

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that Ireland should step up its role in the European Union, and supported the EU receiving more money, as well as more powers in the area of health.

The remarks were made in an address to Fianna Fáil party members this week.

“I believe that the union must be able to do more to support development and not just to focus on fiscal controls,” he said.

“The regular zero-sum fight over budgets exposes the weakness of a union which people make huge demands of but which has a tiny budget in terms of the size of Europe’s economy. We need to stop the efforts to undermine successful programmes in order to provide funding for new programmes.”

Now, realise that the EU’s long-term budget over the next few years is well over €1 trillion euros, entirely raised from European people’s taxes. Apparently this is not enough money in the eyes of our Taoiseach.

In case you’re wondering whether or not this unaccountable foreign bureaucracy is any less wasteful with money than our national one, by the way, here’s a factoid which may interest you: every single year the EU parliament, for some unfathomable reason, moves their offices in a triangle from Luxembourg city to Brussels, and then from Brussels to Strasbourg. They literally ship thousands of bureaucrats from Belgium to France and back 12 times a year in total, and the travel expenses are paid for by European taxpayers.

A few years back, the European Court of Auditors found that this move, altogether, costs around €127.2 million euros per year – just to shuffle these lads around to different European cities and do jobs that they could do where they are already. And as anyone in Brussels will tell you, there are no plans to change that arrangement anytime soon.

And you thought Irish politicians were wasteful with taxpayer money. No wonder Micheál loves them and wants to give them more of the people’s cash to burn.

By the way, as an aside, the CO2 contributions of this yearly move are not small either (if you care about that sort of thing). In March 2019, it was noted that this game of European monopoly contributes between “11,000 and 19,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions” per year. These are the people who are lecturing us about climate change and the need to crash our own economies to “save the planet.”

I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised to be fair – the EU has just tabled a carbon tax for flights, but with an exemption for private jets. Of course they and their wealthy mates don’t have to worry about their CO2 emissions. Just the unwashed masses like ourselves.

But all of this is the tip of the iceberg. It’s been found by European auditors that the block wastes billions every single year, with huge amounts being unaccounted for and vanishing into black holes.

Ireland has already been a net contributor to the EU budget for almost a decade, giving in more than we get out. But apparently, to Micheál, we have money to blow and should really be giving more to our European overlords – even as our national debt balloons to over a quarter of a trillion.

The only justification the Taoiseach gave for this was to laud the supposed help that the European Union allegedly gave to Ireland in acquiring vaccines.

“In Ireland, we were able to get fair and equal access to vaccines which would have been impossible [without the EU],” he said.

If that’s true – that Ireland’s vaccine rollout would have been even worse outside the EU than inside – that says more about the failure and incompetence of Martin’s government than it does about the success of Europe.

The EU was an absolute laggard as regards vaccine rollout for months, falling far behind other parts of the developed world like the US and UK. It was so bad, that the German finance minister straight blank said it was “truly shit.” I don’t think that German politicians are the most eurosceptic people in the world, and yet even they were not able to stand over the atrocious bungling of the situation.

In January, the EU’s vaccination campaign was easily among the slowest in the developed world, with only 2 doses having been administered per every 100 Europeans, compared with 7 in the US and 11 in Brexit Britain.

Germany’s State broadcaster, ZDF, said that blame can be placed at the feet of the EU for “massively overestimating” the production capacities of vaccine manufacturers and “underestimating” the price.

“There is suspicion that manufacturers are delivering faster to countries that are paying higher prices.”

Spanish news outlet, El País, has said that the slow vaccine delivery is a “lethal threat to the EU” and poses a “political risk” to the entire union.

“A failure of the vaccination plan would unleash a crisis of European institutions’ competence and confidence in them, which is difficult to restore.”

Yet to our Taoiseach, they did such a bang up job they deserve more of our money and power.

If his argument is that “We would have done even worse without the EU,” that’s embarrassing, and shows what a shockingly bad job he would have done. Not that the EU is great.

We have to remember, to be fair, that this is the same man who said:

“Let there be no doubt about where Ireland stands – we want nothing to do with a backward-looking idea of sovereignty. We are absolutely committed to the ideals of the European Union.”

Martin’s relationship with Europe is one of unconditional love, and no amount of failure, waste or corruption will stop his endless flow of generosity to Brussels at the public’s expense.

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