January 07, 2009

On that good European

Richard points to a story about Vaclav Klaus, the President of the Czech Republic and for the coming six months also the President of the European Union. I’ve always had something of a soft spot for him and that admiration has only grown upon reading this in today’s Financial Times by him:

Aggregate demand needs strengthening. One traditional way to do this is to increase government expenditures, probably in public infrastructure projects, on condition these are available. It would be much more helpful, however, to have a great reduction in all kinds of restrictions on private initiatives introduced in the last half a century during the era of the brave new world of the ?social and ecological market economy?. The best thing to do now would be temporarily to weaken, if not repeal, various labour, environmental, social, health and other ?standards?, because they block rational human activity more than anything else.

As regards the EU?s ?constitutional? stalemate, the Czech government will ? hopefully ? not lead Europe to an ever-closer union, to a Europe of regions (instead of states), to a centralised, supranational Europe or to an increasingly controlled and regulated Europe masterminded from above. It will keep stressing its EU presidency slogan ?Europe without barriers?, which means the advocacy of further liberalisation, removing trade barriers and getting rid of protectionism.

Our historical experience gives us a clear instruction: we always need more of markets and less of government intervention. We also know that government failure is more costly than market failure.

We can also count on the fact that the Czech government will hopefully not be the champion of global warming alarmism. The Czechs feel that freedom and prosperity are much more endangered than the climate.

I do have to declare an interest here. I’m a member of, a candidate for and a press officer for the UK Independence Party, the only in the UK arguing that we should leave the European Union altogether. So I have to admit that I’m rather predisposed to like people who go against the grain of currently fashionable European leftism.

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