Tuesday 21 September 2010

Sarkozy’s “Romagate”: Berlusconi or Mugabe?

The Bloggingportal.eu blog headlined its Week in Bloggingportal France vs. Europe, but more than yesterday’s news the French crackdown on illegal Roma camps is a fountain of learning about how the European Union (mal)functions.

Charles Forelle on the WSJ Real Time Brussels blog linked to a story in Le Point where the French senator Philippe Marini’s regrets at the existence of Luxembourg had led prime minister François Fillon to offer excuses to the Grand Duchy.

Forelle went on to instigate his readers to find (or invent) more extravagant ripostes.

What on earth should we think of?

Daniel Mason on The Endless Track saw that the discussion should be conducted without referring to the Nazis.

The advice of Charlemagne’s notebook was: Don’t mention the war.

Way back European Alternatives presented the “security package” of Silvio Berlusconi’s government in Italy after the 2008 elections, and the European Union’s lack of real action.

Massimo Merlino wrote a detailed analysis called: The Italian (In)Security Package – Security vs. Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights in the EU (downloadable here).

According to Michael Day, in The Independent, Berlusconi has given his full support to France's controversial decision to forcibly repatriate thousands of Roma people to Eastern Europe.

If we play along, and leave Hitler outside, isn’t Berlusconi the obvious reference for Sarkozy’s ethnically motivated crackdown on Roma?

The French authorities have been at pains to explain that they have targeted only illegal Roma and Travellers settlements. So was, according to Robert Mugabe, the demolition of homes in Zimbabwe during the so called Operation Drive Out Trash (source: Wikipedia).

So how about Mugabe, if we look for role models beyond Europe?

President Sarkozy must have thought that the European Commission would roll over, since it had not confronted Berlusconi seriously, but regardless of the legal consequences Sarkozy has also chosen his company internationally.

Ralf Grahn

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