Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tories' Treachery Over EU Allies

Terry Moore in Brussels
Published in Tribune Magazine 21 May 2010

In a highly cynical manoeuvre, the Tories in the European Parliament are going to collapse their right-wing grouping before it falls apart. They then intend to present this as a sign of maturity in Government and as a devious signal to their new coalition allies the Lib Dems that the Tories can do compromise.

In reality, The Tories have spent an inordinate amount of political capital after Cameron took over the Tory party leadership, establishing a new right-wing group in the European Parliament called the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) . However as a leader of one of their strategic allies in the European Parliament (the Czech Civil Democrats, ODS party) points out they utterly failed to create a sustainable grouping that could have any influence in the EU Parliament.

Furthermore, the ODS leader, Miroslav Ouzký believes that the Tories are untrustworthy partners and are preparing to sabotage the group in pursuit of their own self-interest. Ouzky's distrust is telling as the ODS are the only sensible members of the ECR which is otherwise made up of Religious fundamentalists , far-right Baltic State MEPs both with a smattering of anti-semitism and blatant homophobia and maverick independents as well as the ODS and the Tories.

The Tories left the main centre-right grouping the European Peoples' Party (EPP) and incurred the wrath of mainstream centre-right leaders such as Merkel and Sarkozy. Cameron now looks like he is going to jump before he is pushed and apply to rejoin the EPP (allegedly from a position of strength when it is in fact from a position of great weakness).

The ECR group is so fragile that it only needs two members from their 54 member grouping to walk out and it will no longer be viable and would lose all funding from the European Parliament and its rump would be looked upon as renegade independents, not to be trusted.

The current leader of the Czech ODS party in the European Parliament,  Miroslav Ouzký, has outlined his fears about Tory treachery in a recent interview. “The faction is very fragile from the inside, since it only has the minimum number of required delegations, therefore the walkout of only 2 members can dissolve it. Sufficient would be that Cameron stops convincing some of its unsettled individuals to stay at ECR- which I could imagine he will do.”

“He also despairs at the commitment of his Tory allies., “When the topics come to the cars, Czech chemical industry, water, we always discuss with Germans, the Tories are not interested in our problems at all.” The full interview can be found (in Czech) at:-

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