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Sweden 'won't block' pact to save euro

TT/The Local/dl · 9 Dec 2011, 14:20

Published: 09 Dec 2011 11:21 GMT+01:00
Updated: 09 Dec 2011 14:20 GMT+01:00

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Speaking with the TT news agency on Friday morning, Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt also expressed doubts about the likelihood of Sweden agreeing to abide by the pact, which was forged by the 17 eurozone countries, and which six other EU member states had at that time elected to support.

“It's not that Sweden, which isn't a member of the euro, wants to tie itself to rules which are completely tailored for the eurozone,” he said.

“The whole text is written to make eurozone members submit to certain restrictions and do certain things. A non-eurozone country can't reasonably sign up to that.”

Following an intense night of negotiations, Sweden, the UK, Hungary, and the Czech Republic refused signal their support for a deal requiring tighter fiscal discipline among the eurozone countries through changes to the current EU treaty.

Hopes for a deal stumbled in part over the UK's desire to include protections from future financial regulations that would have accompanied the treaty changes proposed by Germany and France.

While Britain and Hungary at first refused to sign on to the deal, Sweden and the Czech Republic had requested time to consult with their respective parliaments before agreeing to the new pact.

As a result, the 23 remaining EU members states agreed to forge an agreement for rules that would penalize fiscal profligacy and to increase resources available to bailout troubled EU economies through additional pledges to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the establishment of a new European bailout fund.

Later on Friday morning, however, Reinfeldt received clearance from the Riksdag's EU committee to approve the protocol changes agreed to by the eurozone countries, meaning Sweden has no plans to stand in the way of the deal.

Specifically, the committee approved Sweden's participation in a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that will help support a European bailout fund.

The committee also agreed to having Sweden support changes to the EU treaty that allow for countries that mismanage their economies to be punished, but stopped short of having Sweden abide by the new rules.

The question of the size of Sweden's contribution remains up for negotiation, according to the Europaportalen.se, a Swedish news website focusing on EU politics.

“We're not saying no. We think it's good that the eurozone countries have come up with something in all this chaos and we're not going to close the door on the eurozone countries as they try to put their economies in order,” EU committee vice chair Marie Granlund of the Social Democrats, told TT.

Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) MP Carl B.Hamilton, chair of the EU committee, was highly critical of the UK, which has refused to support the pact.

“They're splitting Europe. Great Britain has acted in an nonconstructive way. 'Unhelpful' as they say in English,” Hamilton told Europaportalen.se.

While there is no indication that Sweden plans to join the 23 other countries which have so far agreed to abide by the new budget rules, the possibility remains open that Sweden could join at a later date.

“We'll have to see what is actually meant by joining voluntary. We can't have any overoptimistic hopes that we can affect politics for the whole of Europe. But if we join, we can protect ourselves against having other countries make decisions that could injure us,” said Hamilton.

Story continues below…

While Hamilton indicated his Liberal Party was open to Sweden eventually joining the pact, Granlund said the Social Democrats remain opposed.

“It would conflict with what the Swedish people have said in the referendum. It would mean an all to large involvement in the Swedish economy,” she told Europaportalen.se.

Exact details of the deal remain to be worked out in the coming months and will be enshrined in an international agreement parallel to the EU's current treaty.

However, the goal remains to eventually have the changes included in the EU treaty.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:00 December 9, 2011 by zircon
Cameron and Reinfeldt- Happy Feet.
12:15 December 9, 2011 by the fonz
Good decision - it would be throwing good money after bad.

Sweden certainly doesn't need lessons in budgetary discpline from the French - Wouldn't that be like the pupil teaching the teacher?
13:33 December 9, 2011 by eltechno
Good for the Swedes-stay OUT of this mess whenever possible.

The problem with the EU is not whether Frau Merkel or Daveyboy Cameron are smart or ignorant, good or evil, whatever. The problem is that the EU is a grandiose scheme that assumes there is a one-size-fits-all plan for different cultures, climates, locations, etc. that will guide the local economies to a good outcome. It should be noted that Marxism crashed and burned for largely the same reason of grandiose thinking.

When you build a ship, you install bulkheads so that even if the hull is damaged in one area, you can still seal off enough of the ship to save her. Well, national borders work the same way. And while like good ship design where careful planning dictates where and how many bulkheads there are, the location and purpose of borders can be endlessly tinkered with. But borders cannot be eliminated-to do so means a hole in Greece brings down the Euro and other calamities that should have been easily contained.
13:59 December 9, 2011 by lub
Give billions to Eurozone countries and get Europe back in shape is much more beneficial for Sweden than giving billions to Africian countries for humanitarian purposes. Sweden is very fiscally disciplined anyway and what's the harm of signing a treaty that are already being complied ? Hole in the head! Now we will wait for the whole europe go down to the drain, thanks to Sweden and UK well protecting that power remain at your national polititians hands!
14:00 December 9, 2011 by Nemesis
To the idiot who wrote the article. Categorially WRONG.

Just because the people who write for the Local hate the EU, does not men that anti-European fantasies in the minds of the writers in the local are facts.

It has just been announced today, that only the UK stands apart from this agreement, after other leaders in Czech Republic, Hungary and eventually Sweden, consulted there governments, before making a decision.

In Sweden's case most of the business leaders would have been screaming down the phone to Rheinfelt to go with Europe and drop the interests of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.

Looks like only the UK wants to be ruled by the markets and the other 26 want to be ruled by there governments.
14:15 December 9, 2011 by byke
"Just because the people who write for the Local hate the EU, does not men that anti-European fantasies in the minds of the writers in the local are facts."

While I often disagree with the quality of news articles printed on TL.

I cant see how the article was pro or negative to the EU.

I would go as so far to say it seemed fairly balanced, and if influenced by anything ... it would be Reinfeldts comments, since this is news relating directly to sweden and not the effects that would effect sweden and not a global outlook across the member states.
14:20 December 9, 2011 by BrittInSweden

Actually the UK would like to be ruled by its own government and not by Europe.
14:41 December 9, 2011 by Nemesis
@ byke,

The local has deliverately misled with this story. It is clear that they get there news from sources like RT and Fox, not Reuters and other reputable agencies who check there facts.

I turned on the news at 1.30 am and it was the UK only that was not signed up to the agreement. 26 members of the EU have accepted it. They had to wait for other leaders to consult with there governments, before they could fully sign up to it, whihc is normal practice.

@ Britinsweden,

The UK is ruled by the city of London financial district.
14:45 December 9, 2011 by David P
They was no way that Britain would agree to this treaty. The financial transaction tax that the French and Germans wanted to impose was a direct attack on London. with 80% of all financial transactions going through London the annual amount collected would be £34 billion, the Franco-German alliance wanted Britain to help bankroll the Euro.
14:50 December 9, 2011 by Nemesis
@ David P,

Because of Cameron's stupidity there will now he a transaction tax in the EU and the UK will have little to no say in how it is written up and implemented.

The division between the UK and the rest of the EU is now the widest it has ever been. It also look like getting a lot wider in the near future.
14:59 December 9, 2011 by David P
the EU cant impose the transaction tax on Britain as they vetoed it, the Eurozone can only do it to those signed up, it could also mean that further fananical organisations will move to London to avoid paying this tax
15:04 December 9, 2011 by byke
David, at present europe can impose a transaction tax regardless of the veto.

Nem, Clegg was just as involved in the decision made .... in fact dave called nick to discuss it in the middle of the night and it nick gave his backing to dave that the deal on the table was unacceptable.
15:48 December 9, 2011 by Nemesis
@ Byke,

I noticed that Clegg has been as stupid as Cameron. Both have ensured that the UK will have next to no say in future developments in the EU, as well as crippling the UK's influence on the world stage.

Instead of a transaction tax that is very light, this will lead to a transaction tax, that will cripple London.

I can see finance houses starting to leave London very soon.

That should make London more equal with the North of England in unemployment.

The present parliament is actually made up of bigger idiots than the previous bunch of idiots.

@ David P,

16:14 December 9, 2011 by ltch65
Ah yes the 'Mer-Kozy' led Europe...!!

The truth is that nobody knows what is going to happen - everyone is staring into the abyss on this...!!

Why is it that the French have protectionism for farming & agriculture under CAP; the spanish for the fisheries and the German for manufacturing and when the UK makes a stand for finance - or anyone else for that matter - its rubbished...!

Good luck to all those nations who will have to have their budgets agreed by Brussels (or should I say Berlin) before they are agreed by their own parliaments... and woe-be-tide any nation to default.....!!!!
16:45 December 9, 2011 by cogito
by BrittInSweden #7 "Actually the UK would like to be ruled by its own government and not by Europe."

So would Greece. As soon as the word "referendum" was uttered, their democratically elected leader was kicked out by the Euro-thugs. Then they proceeded to depose the democratically elected leader of Italy.

And Sweden worries about a fringe sect like SverigeDemocraterna while the EU dictatorship is given a pass.
16:55 December 9, 2011 by tadchem
When the electric power grid failed for the northeast US and eastern Canada in 1965 in a colossal scale domino effect, a couple of areas avoided the blackout because the local power utility operators had the presence of mind to disconnect from the grid when they saw everything was going to go wrong.

These areas were able to help restart the system.

The EU monetary system appears to be headed for the same kind of domino effect that causes the 'Northeast Blackout of 1965'. Sweden should get its dominoes out of the line.
17:02 December 9, 2011 by ltch65
#16 Couldnt agree more....!!

I would certainly urge the Swedes and Danes to look to its Norwegian counterparts and to the UK (in this situation) unless of course you want to be part of a federal state led by the French and the Germans;

the former of course is also struggling along with its latin counterparts to get its own house in order...!!
17:25 December 9, 2011 by Nemesis
The UK is now alone like a petulant little spoilt brat.

Now the isolation of the UK from Europe begins.




With the UK sidelined, things should start to move a bit faster in Europe, without the UK ball and chain. Also stability will be easier to achieve without the UK trying to impose Goldman Sachs-JP Morgan-Barclays Friendmannite ideology onto everything.

Cameron can sit petuantly on the sidelines and watch as the UK is left behind and ignored by Europe.

Those of you calling for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union need to get something into your short sighted little minds.

Britain would not automatically join the European Economic Area (EEA), upon leaving the European Union, contrary to what some right wing commentators who get there funding from US corporations would have you believe.

The UK would have to negotiate over several years to join the EEA, during which what is left of the UK economy would completely disintegrate.

If the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, then that means that all legal contracts with other European countries are null and void. Most of the English people in Europe will be classed as illegal aliens without a right to work in Europe unless they apply in the process that workers from China and Africa have to go through to work in European countries. All UK citizens will need a visa to travel to another European country and to conduct business.
17:44 December 9, 2011 by Greekfan
It all makes me ashamed to be British. The real trouble is that in the UK in general and especially in England there are a lot of people who do not yet realise that queen Victoria is dead.
17:59 December 9, 2011 by Earandur Lissesul
Who in their right mind would hand over the Financial Sovereignty to Brussels. That bunch of idiots haven't ratified their own accounts for the last decade. Britain has the fifth largest economy in the world, Europe needs the UK more than we need them. If anyone thinks that trade and relations between the EU and the UK are in some form of jeopardy really aren't living in the real world. What France and Germany tried to do militarily in Europe and failed, they have just done financially. The only ones who will benefit out of this are the French and Germans. Agriculture French protectionism, Manufacturing Germany, Fisheries Spain the list goes on.
18:46 December 9, 2011 by Mr B
Oh dear,the Euro is failing.What a surprise.How can you have a universal currency and still have different financial planning from one country to another?And I object to all this name calling regards British position in Europe.If it was'nt for Britain you'd all be speaking German ( no disrespect to any Germans reading this,I'm sure your all nice people).We live in a democratic country,let the people decide,I don't remember voting for a Leader of the European Unio,so called interlectuals,idiots more like .Some leaders think they know best,well sometimes they don't,thats why this mess exists.The sooner its all over the better,and as for Britains needing visa's the work in Europe,well,how many Eurpeans are in the UK working right now,its around 3 million I believe.Let Democracy choose and if we're wrong,its our choice.Personally I think we should leave the Eurpoean Union,its full of double standards,bullsh*t,fraud,incompetence,etc,well,you get the idea.
19:23 December 9, 2011 by Chuck_Norris
"Following an intense night of negotiations, Sweden, the UK, Hungary, and the Czech Republic refused signal their support for a deal requiring tighter fiscal discipline among the eurozone countries through changes to the current EU treaty."
19:27 December 9, 2011 by godnatt
Give everyone back their sovereignty, drop the Euro, sign free trade agreements and end the charade.

It's going to happen, it's just a matter of when.
19:44 December 9, 2011 by Nemesis
@ Chuck Norris,

Sweden, Czech Republic and Hungary have all said yes. Please stop spreading Fox News / Daily Mail misinformation.

Cameron has done serious damage to UK interests in Europe.


Croatia which today agreed to join the European Union next year has also said yes to the pact. Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Ukraine, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bosnia and Albania have have also come out in support of the pact.

Only the UK says no.
19:50 December 9, 2011 by David P
Germany doesn't want the Euro to go because a revalued mark would make them uncompetitive, and as such would bring mass unemployment. At the end of the day this treaty has done nothing to save the Euro and with countries having to leave the Euro in the future, the Euro is on the verge of colapse. Anyway France has never wanted Britain in Europe deGaulle spent years keeping us out.
19:55 December 9, 2011 by Earandur Lissesul
@ Nemisis

Member countries





Czech Republic






















United Kingdom

All the rest you mention are prospective candidates and of course they are going to agree. They want to get their noses in the trough, so they are not going to upset Germany and France.
20:13 December 9, 2011 by Nemesis
@ Earandur Lissesul,

Picture is the same. Only one country voting no. The UK.
20:21 December 9, 2011 by Earandur Lissesul
@Nemisis You are correct one country voted no the UK. The right decision for the UK. We are not in the Euro, let the Eurozone sort out the mess of their own making. Why should our Financial Services be raided in a tax grab to pay for the Eurozone excesses. Every other country has their Red Lines, this is ours, like it or lump it. As for being isolated I and many others here in this country couldn't care less. We've gone it alone before and survived, we will survive this time.
21:00 December 9, 2011 by Nemesis
@ Earandur Lissesul,

Good keep your zenophobia inside your own borders.

Also remember this.

One of the main sources of instability in the Eurozone, outside Wall Street trading is the City of London. Traders there have been creating massive instability in the Eurozone for years now.

UK leaves the Euro, there will be import duty to pay on all UK goods entering the European Union. The UK economy will be seriously damaged by loss of at least 40% of its export markets and reduced access to financial dealing as well as services.

Your UK will be economically crippled and take decades to recover.

Maybe then people like you will also stop looking for places to leave zenophobic comments outside your own country.
21:43 December 9, 2011 by Mr B
Zenophobic? Maybe you should learn more about democracy.We should have a choice to choose our own destination, in the European Union,the super nanny state where the unelected 'political elite' (and that was a sarcastic comment) tell us what we can and can't do while filling their pockets with our cash.Get real,Democracy in the European Union is dead and buried.While the UK follow the rules,others do as they please Spanish over fishing,France supporting their motor industry whilst ours crashes and buns and the farming subsidies,its all a load of cr*p.The European Union was about trading between common European Countries,how the hell did it get to the point where someone no one has heard of let alone voted for tells us what to do,and that goes for all the countries in Europe,not just Britain.I feel sorry for you that your to stupid to see that you've lost all your democratic rights and are to stupid to realise.It should return to its roots and become the 'Common Market' once again where we can all do business together without the freeloading polititions creaming billions from every nation untill we are all bled dry.Its nothing to do with race,creed or colour,its common sense.Britain has the most diverse,cultural peoples in Europe and on the whole we get on very well thank you.
21:53 December 9, 2011 by Jacob Monague
I for one am saddened that the UK has elected to resist the charms of a tighter fiscal charter within Europe although I'm not surprised.

The Euro made sense when it was decided to introduce it. Unfortunately it has been badly managed and abused. The tighter restraints might serve to save the Euro although both France and Germany have flouted previous restraints that they themselves agreed to. Why would anyone trust any organisation with their money when that organisation has a short but questionable history?

The UK seems to be one of few countries willing to speak for themselves while others appear to be following the pied piper, quite possibly down the drain.

Smaller countries like Malta and those new countries joining might benefit hugely by the significant amounts of European funding they receive. But under the new charter if they do not do as they told they could be and will be heavily penalised, not by their own Government but by others within Europe.

Even though I am pro Europe even I can see when something isn't quite what it appears to be. When this is the case then don't we have the right and guts to challenge it as the English have, or do we just follow the pack?

The only viable solution for the Euro is to make more reserves available and print more money, but that can't be done.
22:00 December 9, 2011 by Eurogeddon

Your comments are laughable!

If the UK were to leave the EU, the EU would still want to trade with them. Have you ever been to Britain?

The vast numbers of German, French, Swedish and Spanish cars on the road should tell you that the EU has trade surplus with the UK that they would very much like to keep, and not jepordise through trade tarrifs.

Where would the EU's budget be without the UK Euro 57 Billion net contribution?

As for the imposition of visas.....there millions of europeans who work and really enjoy the UK, many of which send large amounts of money to their families back home, Are you suggesting that the EU would benefit from the withdrawing of Britsh peoples right to work and travel?

If the British do not want to sign an agreement, in which they would have to have their budget approved by Brussels I think that is a matter for them. They asked for some reasonable exemptions and were flatly turned down.

The Euro has its problems in its construction and execution, as stated by one of the most influential men in the EU's creation, Jaques Delors....blaming these problems on the City of London or Cameron respecting the wish of his people is self delusion and leads the Euro no closer to solving its problems.
23:18 December 9, 2011 by riose

Bravo. You wrote what I was thinking.

I dont understand all the people defending the tax haven the City is, and justifying in the democracy the UK denial, when the truth is that they want to be left out for the fear of a possible Tobin tax.
00:19 December 10, 2011 by Earandur Lissesul
@Nemisis. Zenophobia, I have found in the past when discussing a topic, someone who has to resort to insults and name calling have realised they have lost the argument. I think Mr B and Eurogeddon have have put the case most eloquently and as far as Nemisis and his comments go I have nothing further to add. Just as a matter of interest Nemisis where do you come from?
00:28 December 10, 2011 by acidcritic
I believe that a pact to save the euro with the participation of those which killed it is absolute nonsense. Europeans must, once and for all, convince themselves that water and oil do not mix. Lazy south europeans and machine-men as the germans cannot arrive at common ends.
00:40 December 10, 2011 by godnatt
@ nemesis

There are a million ways to continue free trade without tariffs without the Euro and the loss of sovereignty it entails.

You sound absolutely ridiculous.
07:22 December 10, 2011 by dukesy
Having read the report in The Local,regarding the fiasco in the Eurozone,most of which was not reported here in the UK, I must first of all congratulate the Swedish nation in wanting to remain `Swedish`,rather than a puppet state pandering to Brussels. In UK,all we ever hear about is what Bloody Brussels` says, our Government wont give US a referendum,in case we tell,or upset Brussels. The amount of `CRAP`,sorry to anyone who finds that offensive,but thats the way I see it, coming out of Brussels,could fill every landfill site the UK has,and then some.

The idea I got,and get is that Sweden has told the EU to sort its own mess out with regards to the Euro,and If our `illustrious leader`,Mr Cameron had any sense,he would support the Swedes in that approach,rather than trying to tell the Euro lovers how to sort the mess out.

Yes it will effect every other member state,BUT its THEIR problem,THEY wanted the single currency,so let THEM sort it or sink it.

Personally if we had to have a single currency,I`d rather have the `Dollar`,its far more stable,been around damn sight longer,and is an internationally recognised currency.

Trade wise I can see a point to the EU,but come on.....all member states are or were `sovereign states` in their own right,so why not stay so.

I dont want to be a Eurocitizen, I want to remain `British` as do Swedes want to remain `Swedish`, but to keep the community as a trading partnership.

This will offend some,of which im sorry,BUT....between 1939 and 1945,another `i use the word very guardedly` gent tried to dominate all countries into a single state,and failed......so why the .......k are we allowing the idea to come up again.

And yes I would vote to keep the `Pound Sterling` given a chance.

Incidentally,I run a taxi business in UK,and I have a sign in my cab stating that I accept payment of fares by card,or by US dollars,Norwegian/ Swedish Krona or Swiss Francs. Lets hope the `wombles` we have in Westminster/Brussels dont make me have to change it.
14:06 December 10, 2011 by democrat
A lot of heat has been generated here by this news or rather by the speculation and interpretation.The very sad fact remains that the Euro remains in the same dire state and will remain so until it's collapse because those countries within the zone(and not within the EU) with the greatest wealth prefer to secure others financial resources and to continue to hope and pray rather than make the ultimate sacrifices themselves.Whilst this is understandable it is worth reflecting upon the reasons.Is it because they know they won't be able to carry their electorate with them which was also an issue for the UK?

Rhetoric and cheap nationalistic jibes are no substitute for the necessary courage to take real action.Most within the UK are pro-European but not for the dictates of a form of government which has been conceived on dangerous and unsustainable undemocratic foundations which takes ever increasing steps towards ultimate oblivian.

The UK has already committed many billions to support Euro countries incl. Ireland and will continue to do it's bit even though no-one stepped-in to assist the UK at the time of it's Exchange Mechanism collapse. Please don't condemn a Country for standing up for it's reasonable interests-you'll be next!.
14:27 December 10, 2011 by Barks
In todays Global society; the vast majority of countries lie outside the EU zone and seem to be doing vastly better than those trying to tape together policies and finances surrounding keeping the Euro. The fundemental issues remain; how do you get such wide and dispirate countries and cultures to operate as one? Why would one even want to do this? Why are their people allowing their leaders to give away such huge powers? How does this help you do better trade with Asia, America and beyond? I for one cannot see the answers to any of these issues and believe the Swedish and British stance as a safer road to Global success.
14:55 December 10, 2011 by viennacalling
the British and the Swedish should exit the EU and possibly form a more productive alliance with Norway they could even mint a new currency maybe the Northern Kroner Pound and they could still do business with the EU and maintain the wealth in the countries like Norway has done with their Oil and Gas supply wealth that is derived from the EU or maybe they could have a good rethink and say come on we must help Ireland Portugal and Greece
15:25 December 10, 2011 by RobinHood
Britain has stood alone before at least twice against anti-democratic, power-hungry European despots. Many people back then also said the Brits were mad not to have signed up to a united Europe under the then dominant Napolean and later the Nazis. It turned out to be the Brits finest hours and their stubborness saved Europe. Twice. Making hopeless stands in the face of overwhelming criticism, and turning out to be right in the end, is what Brits to best.
19:06 December 10, 2011 by Kevin Harris
In the movie Titanic, two Swedes lose their tickets to young Leonardo in a card game and miss the boat. They must have felt really bad as they watched the Titanic sail off. I wonder how they felt a week later. Reinfeldt and Cameron will know soon. Watch out the Euro; iceberg ahead. Full speed ahead captains Merkel and Sarkozy. Off to the pub dumb Swedes and stubborn Englishman.
20:53 December 10, 2011 by yellowyell

By focussing in the UK, you dodge the issue at the heart of this. Brussels, along with Merkel & Sarkozy are concentrating power away from the elected representatives of the member states. I suspect that most countries have the same reservations about the loss of power that the UK does, but don't feel able to give voice to their concerns.

It matters not a jot however, as there is zero likelyhood that the treaty will make any difference anyway. When the Euro started there were agreements on national debt which have consistently been broken. Why do you think this treaty will be upheld with any more diligence than for instance the "Stability & Growth Pact" was?

Furthermore, what do empty promises actually do to address the near term debt crisis.

The Euro is fundamentally flawed. The nation states of Europe are different economic entities with vastly different characteristics. A single currency straightjacket cannot be made to work. The problem is that Merkozy have far too much political credibility at stake to see the inevitable truth.

You're right that the UK is a side-show in all of this. But the main event is actually a circus.
22:57 December 10, 2011 by planethero
Seems like the UK was asked to say yes or no, but with the prerequisite they had to reply yes.

Mobbing at its ugliest and undemocratic. These mandarins are untouchable, when will we get to vote what happens?

Reinfeld, Cameron, Sarkozy, Merkel all decide our future like kings. If you think we live in democratic times, you are mistaken. We vote only once every five years, to allow the king to stay or go, and get replaced by another king.

Fake democracy is a sugar coated poison pill.
23:05 December 10, 2011 by BritVik
All I can say at this stage is thank God Britain is not governed by the likes of this nemesis individual writing here. He - or she - would seemingly love to have the UK give up all its sovereignty to the brussels sprouts.

Makes you wonder why we fought WW2 when the likes of nemesis (yes- with no capital n) appear so willing to capitulate - not only to Merkel, but also to Sarky.

I feel sorry for nemesis, I really do. Chips on shoulders.
23:13 December 10, 2011 by godnatt
@ Kevin Harris

Haha. Great summary. ;)
23:26 December 10, 2011 by al3ph

For someone who makes such primitive spelling errors, you sure do like to call people 'stupid' and 'idiot' a lot. I take it you are not familiar with the Dunning-Kruger effect.

For someone who makes repetitive generalizations about a whole populace, you sure were quick to respond to a polite reply with accusations of 'zenophobia' (the word is spelled xenophobia by the way).

For someone who calls a country a 'spoilt brat' (sic) for exercising its own democratic right, you sure do kick, scream and repeat at the slightest existence of an opposite opinion. How civil and tolerant of you (that was sarcasm in case it went wooshing over your head).

I do sincerely hope you can draw the chip on your shoulder and your erratic, illogical way of expressing yourself down to youth, ignorance or inexperience because if you are an adult who expresses themselves this way, or actually believe some of the stuff you have said then I do feel sorry for you. Whatever the case I think sometimes you need to just accept some people have differing opinions and move on with your life. Sometimes you will be right, sometimes you will be wrong. Currently your arrogance and simplistic breakdown of complex issues or arriving at false conclusions through well known logical fallacies is not doing you any favours because you sound like an absolute dingbat.

BritVik: Too right.
09:45 December 11, 2011 by cogito


Remarkable, isn't it?
10:52 December 11, 2011 by HYBRED
Tis nice to be in the presence of all these freakin Einstein's
11:10 December 11, 2011 by skatty
I think the decision of UK and Sweden is understandable, base on the fact that none use euro.

Anyway in future; if euro survives, then the EU will survive, and not the reverse!

As a matter of fact, as far as a country doesn't use euro, it can not quite be considered in EU zone; unless a country with high political, economic and cultural position to compensate the lack of membership in euro zone. UK has that kind of high political, economic and cultural position but not Sweden!
12:41 December 11, 2011 by Earandur Lissesul
When all is said and done the UK problem is just a side show that some Europeans are using this to disguise the fact that nothing has been resolved. This is the start of the process for the remaining 26 members and will probably go on for years. It doesn't resolve the immediate problems in Europe. Once these members get down to the nitty gritty of what is needed and what they will be required to agree to and give up. I bet you will see a good few more backing out of the process. You can argue the rights and wrongs of the UK and their decision till the cows come home, the fact remains the EU met and what was billed as the Summit to resolve all Europe's woes and they achieved absolutely nothing. The same old sticking plaster and kick the tin further down the line. I personally think our PM made the right decision the only one given what was on offer.
15:02 December 11, 2011 by BobBob
@ Kevin Harris

Nicely put! Have a pint on me, Kevin!
17:27 December 11, 2011 by hackie
Always remember to use #Number when making a reference to a previous post in order to encourage a proper linkage. So many people quoted Nemesis without remembering to include the #Number. That made me scroll up and see how dumb his post was.

@al3ph #47

nicely said ;)
19:37 December 11, 2011 by cogito

The True Believer known as Nemesis is a she and from the U.K.

Maybe she is also one of the many thousands of translators being paid (by us) to put the millions of EU edicts, rules, regulations and laws into the incomprehensible Engleurish language.
19:39 December 11, 2011 by Steve Potts
The Euro is doomed - the majority of economists believe this. The Euro will survive - the majority of EU politicians believe this. Perhaps the latter are deluded?

One thing is for sure, the Greeks will default, the Italians will get fed up with the strick austerity measures and want out. The Euro in its current form will disappear. The only way forward is to let the PIIGS make an orderly default and return to their own currencies and be allowed to set their own budgets and interest rates.

Why rush to jump on board a sinking ship?
23:24 December 11, 2011 by Vernony
The whole idea is stupid and has not been thought through. First the leaders of the . 26 nations have acted undemocratically. That might seem a minor problem, but war until some faceless officicial rules that Spanish teacher's pensions are to high, or that they must pay more road tax in Italy, or that German pensions are too high. What we have here is a recipe for massive national unrest. A siingle fiscal policy can only work if it is a part of a single state, I.e. it has one government. So if you do not mind the next Swedish first minister to be, say a Frenchman, or a Hungarian, then by all means vote for fiscal union
09:04 December 12, 2011 by Exiled
Cry havoc! And end this dictatorship.

End this vilification of those who make decisions, circumstances will change in an instant and those decisions will be worthless.

Flexibility remains the key to success, and with even one member of the union showing independence that flexibility remains.

And wise up, those of you who think politicians rule the globe. Politicians only do what business demands.
09:33 December 12, 2011 by the fonz

Well said.
13:50 December 12, 2011 by james__uk
Europeans who don't join the Euro, or who vote against changing the Eu into compulsory Euro membership, are not bad, not evil.

The French and Germans are framing the British as kill-joys who want to stop Europe fixing itself. But this is infantile rubbish. We voted to keep the EU as a free trade group, and any treaty to govern fiscal union must now be outside the EU offices. It's fair, it's right and it's reality. So be happy that you can now fix your broken currency and your broken banks. We will help you. Even when you scream and cry like babies.
14:35 December 12, 2011 by riose
@james__uk True if the City wasn't a tax haven.
20:05 December 12, 2011 by Earandur Lissesul
Even Francois Hollande the opposition to the current leader in France at the next French elections is saying that if he gets into power he will tear up the agreement. It is early days in this whole process, watch this space
20:42 December 12, 2011 by james__uk

The City isn't exactly a tax haven is it? It's not a country, it has the same tax as anywhere else. I think though that Britain will become a massive center for financial services. Not for criminals or war crimes people (cough Switzerland), but for honest hard-working people who want somewhere safe to keep their foreign earnings. There is nothing wrong with that. And there's good money to be made changing money between currencies. It's all good business. I think as the single currency becomes an empire (like the Empire in star wars), there will be lots of room for rebels like Britain, who can be flexible and strong. Europe doesn't need all these weak countries. We need strong countries. Join the Rebel Alliance! Together we will destroy the death star and free the people of earth.
20:48 December 12, 2011 by Steve Potts
Are EU being short-changed?

Sweden net population 9.1 Million, money in and out of EU - deficit 11 Billion

Belgium net population 10.5 Million money in and out of EU - benefit 6.4 Billion.
14:23 December 14, 2011 by ltch65
Even though I am pro Europe I still have an award for Nigel Farage - hero of 2012:

"......You European lot are on the Titanic heading for the economic and financial iceberg suicide, whilst at least we, the UK, on sat comfortably in a lifeboat, watching you run around on the decks, trying to sort yourselves out....."

Typical UKIP....but one I oddly agree with at this present time.

History will reveal who is right in all of this of course.........

I cant help thinking that once again the UK, might be right in all of this, and if it means that we and Cameron, as it has been suggested are being bullied and shouted at, so other smaller nations can have time to think about their paths, then so be it.
14:24 December 16, 2011 by Anglosaxon123
Europe is so weak. I have always detested the fact that it is so close to Britain. The gap between the white cliffs of Dover and Calais is only 21 miles. Pity it wasn't 500.

We Brits don't want any limp-wristed pussies in Brussels making our rules for us. It's only a matter of time before the Euro collapses once and for all. I'll give it until September (and that's if they're lucky).

2012 will be an interesting year. I'm going to get comfortable in my seat and watch the Titanic go down. The ship is undoubtably going to sink, with Captains Knickerless Sarkastic and Angular Smirkell standing on the top deck looking like a pair of fools.
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