Wednesday, July 4, 2007

big problems in little Lisboa

The erstwhile objective EU Observer can’t help but ooze with sympathy for poor Portugal, who will endeavor to meet the challenges of its EU Presidency, even though they have no shot in hell of doing so.

Why so glum, Observer? All they’ve got to do is get everyone to ratify the former “constitution”, which while taking a new name and throwing a couple of key bones at nasty stragglers (Poland and Britain), remains virtually the same long, controversial document that was only recently rejected. If mighty Germany couldn’t solve these problems, what can we expect of puny Portugal?

“Lisbon must turn the outline agreed by EU leaders at their bad-tempered summit ten days ago into a 'reform treaty' – a document to replace the ill-fated European constitution that was rejected in 2005 in two referendums.”

Uh oh. How are they going to change the minds of the grumpy pessimists no-voters? Well, for one thing, they’re well organized:

It plans to have a full draft treaty ready for an EU foreign ministers meeting on 23 July, the day official treaty negotiations start and get the whole thing wrapped up by mid-October.

Great! Way to prepare ahead, guys, especially for a lazy-ass Mediterranean country! There’s hope yet!

But there are already signs it may not go as smoothly as Lisbon officials hope.

Ack! What could the problem be??

Poland is threatening to re-open a key part of the agreement, claiming that during the summit it was promised stronger powers to block decisions than is currently stated in the text.

Poland! Again! The twittering twins! They just won’t go away, will they, malditos gemelos de mierda! But wait-- what about the miraculous face-saving agreement struck in Brussels just a week ago?

Opening the negotiating door somewhat, foreign minister Luis Amado said that Lisbon "will have to clarify what really was agreed that night.

Doh! Wait—is this why people make fun of the EU?

Well, I for one love the soap opera. The high stakes! The colorful personalities making their mark on history! The inspiring need for former rivals to work together for the common good! The cute way that nice little countries can now talk tough to big ones!

Portugal, as your presidency begins, I salute you. May God have mercy on your soul and guide you through this troubled period. Don’t worry—it only lasts a few months! And hey—it’s not an impossible task, this “constitution” bit. After that, you’re practically home free. Right, EU Observer?

Aside from pinning down Polish and other leaders to what they agreed last month - Portugal also has to stop member states being sidetracked by the Turkey issue, which France is threatening to force onto the political agenda.

Doh! F*cking Turkey! F*cking France! F*ck!

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