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Tuesday, December 02, 2003

I was wrong in this post below. Poland and Spain actually want to stick with the more complicated voting system agreed upon in Nice. France and Germany want to stick to it, arguing that it's simpler, more mathematical and less arbitrary. Not vice versa.

It looks like simplicity is not going to win the day, though, since Britain just signed on to Poland and Spain's position:

Few people believe that Mr Straw is actually contemplating a veto, but it is now widely understood that Britain will back Spain and Poland if they insist on getting their way. Warsaw and Madrid - dubbed the EU's new "awkward squad" - are fighting hard in the negotiations to preserve the disproportionate voting weights which they won at the Nice summit three years ago.
So in general, my predication looks like it's coming true even if I got the facts totally wrong. If you're not following, I don't blame you.

To make things more confusing, Britain is actually on the side of France and Germany over their scurrilous ditching of the stability pact holding the euro together (not that it matters too much in the short term, since Britain didn't have a dog in that fight). If one were cynical, one might speculate that it's because the British government secretly wants the euro to fail completely so they don't have to take a stand on whether they're in or out.

Stay tuned for further revisions of this hypothesis.

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