Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Monies for Mantova and the North to be Released After All

 David Cameron met Mario Monti in Rome today (the cycle of visits by various heads of government has started up again - Merkel to London, Merkel to Lisbon, Cameron to Rome...).  Afterwards Senator Monti said he would like to "take the opportunity to express satisfaction with the final go-ahead for EU funds to be used for work in Emilia-Romagna that we have been examining intensively over the last days".

The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin), made up of EU finance ministers,  announced today  that 670 million euros in assistance for northern  Italy,  severely damaged by  earthquakes last spring, is to  be released.  The two prime ministers were on the Eight O'Clock News  enthusiastically shaking hands and patting each other on the back despite the Italian prime minister regretting the poor fit of the two countries' plans for the EU budget.

'Italy and France issued a joint call last week to abolish the rebate system which grants Britain - and to a lesser extent other countries - a reduction in contributions to the European Union budget.' reports Ansa, the Italian news agency; perhaps a sensible compromise was reached.


Weekend Yachtsman said...

670 million euros?

Is that what all the fuss was about?

Mere chump change, not even a rounding error in either Britain's or Italy's budgets. Don't try to convince me that Monti couldn't have found that down the back of some sofa somewhere.

This was symbolic, I take it; and when I hear that the famous rebate is part of it, then I am certain.

Nothing is what it appears to be, is it. Certainly not where the EU's concerned.

hatfield girl said...

The fuss was about denying our European cultural heritage and the claims upon all Europeans that heritage retains. The UK is fortunate in being relatively unexposed to natural disasters but it were to suffer Italy would come to help, and not allow bitterness over the EU to divide us. One of the worst effects of the EU (as Raedwald often notes) is a failure of European solidarity because it's feared this will be mistaken for EU-style solidarity.

We must resist being driven apart and having our natural European instincts and interest channelled through an unacceptable political expression of Europe.