December 15, 2004

Do as I Legislate, Not as I Do

How can it not be a giant joke that Germany and, especially, France don't live by the rules they impose on the others through the EU?
The European Commission froze its threat of fines against France and Germany on Tuesday, granting the two biggest economies in the euro zone an extra year to bring down their bloated budget deficits.

The decision will help heal the relationship between the European Union's executive arm and the finance ministers of the member states, which has been tense since the commission first tried to punish France and Germany a year ago for failing to play by the budget rules.

The procedure ultimately ends in a fine, though how large or punitive has never been made clear.
I seem to also recall that the Alstom bail-out and the continuing protection of EDF aren't exactly rule-friendly either.