Muslim Brothers: are they really not that bad?

Koert Debeuf, an employee of the European liberals in Cairo, is preparing us for the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood. "They will take the political leadership in the Middle East," he writes in the Flemish weekly magazine Knack. But that's not too bad, because according to him, "we have to compare Muslim Brothers to US Republicans."

Last month I happened to have lunch with members of the Republican National Committee (RNC) in Washington DC and I did not feel like I was sitting with the equivalent of Muslim Brothers. The Republican Party is, like the Democratic Party, an electoral association through which candidates for office - from Governor to President - must fight their battle of ideas in the primaries. Republicans and Democrats do not have an omnipotent party chairman as Belgium does. Registered party members decide. Is religion an exclusive Republican feature? Democratic Conventions also open in prayer. Do only Republicans stand with the US Armed Forces? Marines also carry the American flag into Democratic Conventions. Are Republicans shunning women? I have the impression that a majority of the American conservative movement are women. Look at opinion leaders such as Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Michèle Malkin, Liz Cheney, Bay Buchanan etc. Egyptian Muslim Sisters I have not heard that much about.

There is Always an Alternative

Brussels and the Vatican always offer the same standard answer whenever there is a call for change: TINA (There Is No Alternative). In the European Union this expression is always heard with regards to the Euro. Anyone who sets out to search for alternatives, to reform the Eurozone, is dismissed as a doomsayer. A report titled "The Netherlands & The Euro", requested by opposition party Partij voor de Vrijheid (PVV) and conducted by the British 'Lombard Street Research Institute', disappeared unread into the paper shredder. Even though it was a very thorough study. The Euro-Pope, Herman Van Rompuy, had the study banned before it was even published. Brussels spreads no greater deception than in the debate about the Euro, fueled by endlessly-repeated false arguments:

Argument 1: "The Euro promotes properity in Europe". In the 20 years before the Euro, the Netherlands recorded average growth of 3% annually. In the 10 years since the Euro was introduced, this percentage fell back to 1.25%. Germany saw absolutely no growth between 2002 and 2005. In Italy, growth has stagnated. Sweden, which declined to join the Euro following a referendum, has flourished in the past 10 years.

Argument 2: "Without the euro, the EU will fall apart". In the European Union there are 17 Eurozone countries and 10 EU countries that retained their own currency. The non-Euro countries enjoy good relations with each other and are full members of the internal market. The Eurozone on the other hand has become more of a 'quarrel-zone'. 10 years ago, Germany was the most popular country in Greece. Now it is hated.

The Brussels bunker mentality

Greece has brought doom unto itself, but the European elite have now also begun to derail. The European Union governs its Greek protectorate by dictat. Soon Brussels will demand the return of the colonel's regime to push through the austerity package.

Greece is about to be sacrificed on the altar of European federalism that pursues an ever closer union; an ever closer European entity. The euro serves that purpose as a political tool. With the exceptions of Denmark and the United Kingdom, EU Member States that do not yet belong to the euro zone are automatically candidate members. They are supposed to enter the euro zone. Once in, one cannot get out. This is the European version of the Brezhnev doctrine: in the Soviet Union, joining the 'socialist family' was an irreversible process. The European Union does not have an army (fortunately), but financially blackmails towards the same goal.

Everyone outside Brussels knows that Greece will not recover within the euro zone. The country is collapsing without gaining competitiveness. For tourists Greece remains too expensive. They go to Turkey. Rich Greeks flee, as do young talented Greeks. The country is left with strikers and demonstrators. The weak state cannot be kept in a state of austerity for years on end, and the country remains the festering wound of the euro zone.

The European elite are in a state of denial. An exit from the euro zone is seen as capitulation of European federalism. European integration could become 'reversible'. The European Commission, guardian of this ideal, declared that an 'exit clause' is not consistent with the dogma of the ever closer union. This is remarkable because the Lisbon Treaty contains such a clause for the European Union, designed to blackmail Ireland in case of referenda.

Obama's European Dream

The summer of 2011 displays a remarkable paradox. To escape the debt crisis, European politicians call for a political and fiscal union, the 'United States of Europe', while their model, the United States of America, is facing its biggest debt ever. European federalists state that a functioning monetary union presupposes a political union. The United States, however, show that this is anything but a panacea. On the contrary: by next year, President Barack Obama will have piled more debt on his nation than all his predecessors combined.

During their last summit in Brussels, European leaders decided to let the Greek debt problem 'summernate'. The core problem of the eurozone, the competitiveness gap between the north and the south, keeps on ulcerating. The euro is good for Germany, but too expensive for Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal. These countries cannot devalue within the eurozone, resulting in stagnation and recession. The European Union tries to reconcile the irreconcilable in the eurozone. As a consequence, crises succeed each other at an increasing pace.

Press release: New study: The European Parliament’s budget can be reduced by 24% annually

The cut would save nearly half a billion euros

The main increase of costs is due to the massive inflation of bureaucracy

Brussels, 12 October 2011 – While nearly all national governments have implemented austerity measures to reduce debt and promote growth, the European Parliament is asking to increase its own budget. A study published today by New Direction – The Foundation for European Reform demonstrates that the parliament’s budget does not only need to be increased but it can be substantially decreased.

The study ‘Ending Excess – Cutting the European Parliament’s costs’ proposes concrete cuts that would reduce the EP budget by some € 400 million per year or approximately 24%. Funds saved should be returned to the exchequers of EU net contributor states.

Launching the study, the president of New Direction Geoffrey Van Orden MEP, MBE commented: “Proposed costs would save nearly half a billion Euros without damaging core functions of the institution.”

According to Van Orden the driving force in cost increases has been the massive inflation of the Parliament’s bureaucracy. Since the enlargement in 2004 the number of staff has grown from 3,946 to 6,245. There are only 4 more MEPs now then in 2004 (increase from 732 to 736). Over 1,000 Parliament officials also disproportionally earn more than the MEPs. By comparison, just 83 staff members of the British House of Commons were paid more than Members of the Parliament.

“If the European Parliament does not cut excess swiftly, it will lose all confidence of voters who have to cut basic needs,” said the vice-president of New Direction Derk Jan Eppink MEP.

Selection of costs and proposed cuts: