EU Official Interferes in Domestic Italian Politics

The current President of the EU, Romano Prodi, appears to be having an identity crisis. He doesn't seem to know, from one moment to the next, whether he's in charge of the EU or head of the Italian opposition to Silvio Berlusconi.

 

As reported by AP on Saturday, a letter has appeared on the front—page of the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera, which criticizes the Iraq war and the ensuing occupation as illegitimate. The letter goes on to state that if the Italian left—leaning alliance — known as the 'Olive Tree' — win the election in 2006, they will remove the Italian troops from Iraq.

 

In Italy, it's widely known that Romano Prodi, after his stint as EU President, will become the official leader of the left—wing 'Olive Tree' coalition.

 

The statement itself is to be expected from the Italian left—wing opposition, keen to emulate the success of the Spanish Socialists, and pull troops from Iraq in a grand celebration of populist appeasement. We also know that Romano Prodi was ecstatic when Zapatero —— flush from his accidental election victory —— announced that the Spanish troops would be coming home by June.

 

What is strange about the letter in the Corriere Della Sera is that Romano Prodi does not sign it by name, but instead identifies himself only as a top EU official. This raises some very serious questions about Romano Prodi's ethical conduct while still in position as President of the EU.

 

Is it right that an unelected EU official uses a publicity platform —— generously provided by European taxpayers' —— to start campaigning against his political rival, Berlusconi, two years ahead of the Italian elections?

 

After having searched the EU website I did find a code of conduct for the European Commissioners, but even if they existed, no such ethical standards seem to apply to the President of the EU.

 

How odd then, that there are apparently no rules governing the ethics of Romano Prodi. It appears as if he is perfectly at liberty to write and send national electioneering statements to a newspaper, and sign it off only as a top EU official. By doing so, he is surely exploiting his unelected position in the EU to campaign for the Italian elections in 2006.

 

Of course this is not the first time the President of the EU has used his official position to attack Premier Berlusconi, and organize the left—wing opposition on issues that clearly relate to internal Italian politics.

 

Only last year, Romano Prodi circulated a fifty page document which urged his 'Olive Tree' bloc, to present a joint candidates list for elections.

 

Hans—Gert Poettering, who is the leader of the European Parliament's largest political grouping, The Conservative European Peoples Party, rightly said: 'This is an improper conduct for someone who holds an office which should guarantee neutrality for everybody.'

 

He also went on to berate Prodi for interfering in Italian politics when he should be concentrating on his duties as President of the EU. Furthermore, he warned the Italian that if he did not stop his activities serious consequences would follow.

 

So as the good EU citizen that I am, I've wasted no time in emailing these new details to Hans—Gert Poettering. We'll see what serious consequences follow — though I won't hold my breath.

 

Unfortunately this is only another symptom of the fraudulent European Union, which has never had its accounts —— involving a budget of 100 billion euros —— signed off by an independent audit. This appears to have not worked out very well in the case of the UN Oil for Corruption Programme, and there's no reason to believe it will work any better for the Europeans.

 

Michael Morris is our London Correspondent

The current President of the EU, Romano Prodi, appears to be having an identity crisis. He doesn't seem to know, from one moment to the next, whether he's in charge of the EU or head of the Italian opposition to Silvio Berlusconi.

 

As reported by AP on Saturday, a letter has appeared on the front—page of the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera, which criticizes the Iraq war and the ensuing occupation as illegitimate. The letter goes on to state that if the Italian left—leaning alliance — known as the 'Olive Tree' — win the election in 2006, they will remove the Italian troops from Iraq.

 

In Italy, it's widely known that Romano Prodi, after his stint as EU President, will become the official leader of the left—wing 'Olive Tree' coalition.

 

The statement itself is to be expected from the Italian left—wing opposition, keen to emulate the success of the Spanish Socialists, and pull troops from Iraq in a grand celebration of populist appeasement. We also know that Romano Prodi was ecstatic when Zapatero —— flush from his accidental election victory —— announced that the Spanish troops would be coming home by June.

 

What is strange about the letter in the Corriere Della Sera is that Romano Prodi does not sign it by name, but instead identifies himself only as a top EU official. This raises some very serious questions about Romano Prodi's ethical conduct while still in position as President of the EU.

 

Is it right that an unelected EU official uses a publicity platform —— generously provided by European taxpayers' —— to start campaigning against his political rival, Berlusconi, two years ahead of the Italian elections?

 

After having searched the EU website I did find a code of conduct for the European Commissioners, but even if they existed, no such ethical standards seem to apply to the President of the EU.

 

How odd then, that there are apparently no rules governing the ethics of Romano Prodi. It appears as if he is perfectly at liberty to write and send national electioneering statements to a newspaper, and sign it off only as a top EU official. By doing so, he is surely exploiting his unelected position in the EU to campaign for the Italian elections in 2006.

 

Of course this is not the first time the President of the EU has used his official position to attack Premier Berlusconi, and organize the left—wing opposition on issues that clearly relate to internal Italian politics.

 

Only last year, Romano Prodi circulated a fifty page document which urged his 'Olive Tree' bloc, to present a joint candidates list for elections.

 

Hans—Gert Poettering, who is the leader of the European Parliament's largest political grouping, The Conservative European Peoples Party, rightly said: 'This is an improper conduct for someone who holds an office which should guarantee neutrality for everybody.'

 

He also went on to berate Prodi for interfering in Italian politics when he should be concentrating on his duties as President of the EU. Furthermore, he warned the Italian that if he did not stop his activities serious consequences would follow.

 

So as the good EU citizen that I am, I've wasted no time in emailing these new details to Hans—Gert Poettering. We'll see what serious consequences follow — though I won't hold my breath.

 

Unfortunately this is only another symptom of the fraudulent European Union, which has never had its accounts —— involving a budget of 100 billion euros —— signed off by an independent audit. This appears to have not worked out very well in the case of the UN Oil for Corruption Programme, and there's no reason to believe it will work any better for the Europeans.

 

Michael Morris is our London Correspondent