Thursday, 19 June 2008

Eeeehh... Charlie McCreevy takes the money

Gombeen Nation hasn't showcased a leading public gombeen in some time. So heeeers - eeeeeh, Charlie McCreevy.

Despite trousering a substantial commissioner's salary, McCreevy - along with FF party leader, Cowen - hasn't bothered to read the Lisbon Treaty. McCreevy, who models himself as being some kind of right-wing, free market guru, is frankly a joke in Europe. Despite his avowed support of free-market principles, and his Brussels brief to dismantle barriers to free trade in the EU, he opposes the scrapping of Vehicle Registration Tax in Ireland - which the EU has been trying to get rid of for years. This Irish Government tax means that Irish residents have to pay way for more for their cars than other EU citizens do.

Example, two-seater sports car:

Porsche Boxster, new price in Belfast = EUR 48,000

Porsche Boxster, new price in Dublin = EUR 77,000

Porsche Boxster, new price in Luxembourg = 44,000

Well, reading that, I'm all for tax harmonisation.

It is obvious that McCreevy is not serious about promoting the EU and its aims. In fact, he seems to be set on being as obstructive as possible.

There has been a lot of talk about accountability at EU level lately. How about we start by making commissioners accountable? Rather than seeing the EU institutions as a place to exile errant or incompentent politicians (Flynn, McCreevy, Kinnock, Mandelson), maybe governments should take EU appointments seriously and select high-calibre politicians, who won't be an embarrassment to us in the eyes of the world.

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