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Macedonia and the EU
read in Macedonian


There was so much feedback and comments on my article last week – Should Macedonia Really Join the EU? – that I thought should follow it up with further thoughts on the subject this week.  So here we go: 

Part 1 – Macedonia is doing the right thing by getting closer to the EU.  The myriad reforms going on in Macedonia are necessary for the economic well-being of the country whether Macedonia is in the EU or not.  Macedonia can adopt EU-required reforms (many of which are good and necessary anyway) without actually joining the EU (which is not necessary).  And the current government and past governments have pursued a policy of joining the EU which necessitates these reforms.  All of this is good for Macedonia.   

Part 2 – Following up on what I wrote about the British wanting to dial back their involvement with the European project (“more Europe” as German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schäuble said last week), it was brought to my attention that Sir John Major, a former conservative Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, is now openly advocating taking back power from Brussels.  According to the UK’s Daily Mail, Major “has joined calls for a renegotiation of Britain’s relationship with Brussels.”  The article continued noting “His intervention piles further pressure on David Cameron to use the crisis in the eurozone to demand powers back from the European Union.  The former premier caused surprise in Tory circles by saying yesterday that now is the time to insist on ‘looser’ ties with the EU…. He claimed it was likely that Europe was heading towards a ‘federal state within the Eurozone.’ ‘At some stage there will be another treaty because if there is fiscal union in Europe it changes our relationship to Europe.’”  

On the subject of Greece, Major said “it was time to accept that Greece is unable to pay its debts and get a default ‘out of the way.’”  And while we’re at it, and according to the same article, the current Prime Minister, David Cameron, told Conservative members of parliament that “he wanted to claw back powers from Brussels.”  My guess is that many other European governments feel the same way.   

Part 3 – If you think the interference from Brussels is bad enough when it comes to the economy and your money just look at what they are proposing to do with children’s toys.  According to the UK’s Telegraph, the killjoys, the great and wise fathers who run the EU, now want to ban – brace yourself – balloons for children. I am not making this up.  I quote from the Telegraph:  

“The EU toy safety directive, agreed and implemented by Government, states that balloons must not be blown up by unsupervised children under the age of eight, in case they accidentally swallow them and choke. Despite having been popular favourites for generations of children, party games including whistles and magnetic fishing games are to be banned because their small parts or chemicals used in making them are decreed to be too risky. Apparently harmless toys that children have enjoyed for decades are now regarded by EU regulators as posing an unacceptable safety risk. Official guidance notes: ‘For latex balloons there must be a warning that children under eight years must be supervised and broken balloons should be discarded.’

As well as new rules for balloons and party whistles, the EU legislation will impose restrictions on how noisy toys, including rattles or musical instruments, are allowed to be. All teddie bears meant for children under the age of three will now have to be fully washable because EU regulators are concerned that dirty cuddly toys could spread disease and infection.”  

This last part sums up the attitude of Brussels when it comes to having unelected, unaccountable, nameless, faceless bureaucrats run your life.  The article notes that “the European Commission has insisted that the new safety legislation was needed to prevent ‘horror stories.’”  Please note that this is the same European Commission that cannot utter the word “Macedonia” or “Macedonians.” That is yet the subject of another column. 

Towards the end of the article we read “Another EU official admitted that the new regulations could be difficult to understand but insisted that safety experts knew best. ‘You might say that small children have been blowing up balloons for generations, but not anymore and they will be safer for it,’ said an official.”  Good God Almighty is my response.  An unknown, unnamed, “official” in Brussels insists that “safety experts knew best” when it comes to something children have been doing for ages – blowing up balloons – and that henceforth “not anymore” will rule the day because Brussels knows what is best for you.  My actual response to the “official” from Brussels is not printable due to the foul nature of the language I would like to use but you get the idea. I wish the European project and “more Europe” good luck.  However, there is no such thing as luck.

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Jason Miko
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