How the New Europe Really Works: Germany Calling The Shots
THIS is just a lovely little story telling us all how the New Europe, the much improved and extra special wonderful Europe, really works.
THE GOVERNMENT has complained to the European Commission over the release in Germany of a document disclosing confidential details about new taxes to be introduced in Ireland over the next two years.
In a deeply embarrassing development the document – identifying austerity measures of €3.8 billion in next month’s budget and €3.5 billion in budget 2013 – was made public after being shown to the finance committee of the German Bundestag yesterday.
The document, seen by The Irish Times , confirms the Government plans to raise VAT by 2 percentage points to 23 per cent, which would generate €670 million. Next month’s budget would also contain a €100 a year household charge, yielding €160 million, it says.
Doesn’t sound like all that much really, does it? Except this is the German Parliament reading the Irish budget. Well, OK, it still doesn’t sound like all that much really. Anyone can read anyone else’s budget can’t they? Most governments do actually print them and allow people to do so.
Ah, no, there’s one more bit to this. The German Parliament is looking at the Irish budget, talking it over, checking it out: before the Irish Parliament even knows what is in it.
This is that wondrous New Europe: the Germans get to check over our own budgets even before we get to have a peek at them. Before you even stand up and make the speech to Parliament, the Huns are allowed to make sure they approve of it.
Delightful, isn’t it?