From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Saturday, March 3, 2018
Dutch PM Rutte sets out vision for a deregulating, militarised EU in Berlin speech
DUTCH Prime Minister Mark Rutte
Speaking in Berlin, he said that his first proposal for an EU of “prosperity, security and stability” was to “make Europe’s services market truly open.”
He took aim at the “5,000 protected professions in the EU. That’s … 22 per cent of all workers. I say: let’s abolish these protected professions.”
Meanwhile he urged that budgetary restrictions on eurozone countries be enforced more rigidly on laggards who had “abstain[ed] from modernising their economies” — a euphemism for privatisation and deregulation.
He cited his own country as evidence for that, with his government having cut spending by tens of billions of euros — with similar results as in Britain, with markedly increased poverty. At one point two-thirds of Dutch doctors reported seeing patients too poor to afford their prescriptions.
While Mr Rutte advocated cutting EU development spending, he said the bloc should be spending more on the military, toughening up its borders to keep out refugees and more quickly deporting those who make it.
Part of that would be standing permission for military convoys to cross EU member states’ borders, with money spent on beefing up roads to cope with heavy materiel.
While Mr Rutte positioned his speech in opposition to the more federalist agenda pushed by Mr Macron, many of their prescriptions are similar — expanding neoliberal reforms while further militarising the EU.
The key difference between the approaches appears to be that Mr Rutte wants to keep EU decision-making as it is and cut the bloc’s budget, while Mr Macron and his supporters wish to further empower the Brussels bureaucracy.
Germany: The membership vote and the war policy of the SPD: here.
EU announces free movement plan – for armies. THE European Union announced its “action plan on military mobility” yesterday, aiming to allow member state armies to deploy across the bloc at will: here.