I read with much amusement Jean-Claude Trichet’s article on the future of Europe (“The Europe of the future,” Dec. 30, page 9), until I realized it wasn’t April 1. Unfortunately, barring the political elite in Brussels who are no doubt enjoying the Christmas season with yet more champers paid for by taxpayers, the rest of us fail to see the funny side of the financial and political turmoil engulfing Europe, not to mention the ever-growing democratic deficit in EU institutions.
It’s all very well for Europhiles like Trichet to argue for further integration in order to attempt to save the euro (despite the markets having already given up on the hope of Greece and Italy avoiding a debt default, not to mention those next in line after that), but to claim that such a move is compatible with a democratic Europe is nothing short of laughable.
Eurozone countries already have no say over their interest rates (set by the European Central Bank) and the latest EU treaty explicitly states that member states’ fiscal policies will now also be subject to EU scrutiny. Of course, the unelected European Commission has also been making the majority of laws and directives in EU countries for years. If economic policy ceases to be a part of national elections, what on earth is the point of voting?
If Trichet believes, as he says, that “the future of Europe is in the hands of its democracies, [and] the hands of Europe’s people,” then he should be supporting the immediate breakup of the disaster that is the EU.
Good to right wrongs
Joseph Allard (Letter, Dec. 31, page 9) recently wrote a letter from Luxembourg to say how he, too, after receiving the Nov. 21 European edition of Time magazine, “was shocked to see Taiwan shown as part of China in its geographic illustration” in one of the main feature articles, as I had noted in an op-ed about Changhua resident Jesse Chalfin’s letter to Time pointing out the error (“Setting confused Time straight,” Dec. 28, page 8).
Allard, to his credit, wrote an e-mail to Time as well “to signal this obvious error,” and although his letter was not published, he said he was nevertheless pleased to see that the error had been corrected later on Time’s Web site. He also noted Chalfin’s letter was published in the Dec. 12 European edition of Time, contrary to what I had erroneously thought was an editorial decision by Time’s editors not to run Chalfin’s letter in either the North American or European editions.
Thanks to Allard’s letter, I now see that I was wrong and that my earlier supposition that Chalfin’s letter did not appear in Time’s international editions for North America and Europe was incorrect. In fact, we now know, thanks to Allard’s letter, that Time published Chalfin’s letter in all of its print editions worldwide. So kudos to Time’s editors for putting Taiwan in the right place on its online map after being informed of the error by Chalfin.
I should have been more diligent in my online research, but for the life of me, I just could not find the links to the letters pages of Time for their editions outside Asia.
I looked and looked and scoured the Internet for a clue, but I found nothing. Now, with Allard’s letter, I know the truth. Thanks for the heads-up.
Upon reading your article “Taiwan public to pick Taipei 101 wishes,” (Dec. 31, page 2), I was curious enough to visit Taipei 101’s Web site www.taipei-101.com.tw.