Which will be two cheers and one resounding raspberry.
Today two events took place that are heartening. Firstly there was a protest march against the EU Constitution in Helsinki, this is important in that Finland is about to take over the Presidency of the EU from Austria, and is attempting to be a good little soldier by ratifying the corpse of the Constitution to earn brownie points in Brussels.
In an echo of the March, Finnish President Tarja Halonen has poured cold water on attempts to force feed the Constitution to those countries who have already said no. She was speaking at a meeting organised by the European Movement. Given that the Constitution is legally dead – whatever those who wish to ECG the annex might say – then this is tantamount to saying that the Finnish government, by pressing ahead with ratification despite the opposition of the Finnish public of which only 36% believe “Europe to be a good thing” and only 20% believe that a Constitution would be “helpful” in the creation of a future Europe.
However though this is all rather positive the Finnish have a nasty up their sleeve. According totheir Finace Minister one, Eero Heinäluoma the Finns will push for a raised common minimum tax on booze (only beer and spirits mind you, the French wouldn’t play if wine was included). Why pray does the numpty want this to happen. Well it is all pretty simple. He wants to raise taxes in Finland and he is frightened that this would “lead to a growth in imports”.
Well stone me, I would never have guessed. Has the man not learnt from the experience of Gladstone?