Sunday, May 1, 2011

EU co-operation works (not!)

One of the reasons we are given (though, I must admit, ever less often) for the ineffable necessity for the EU is that all those member states can act together and do nasty things to nasty dictators. Well, the things cannot be too nasty because that would not be in keeping with the soft power the EU favours (though we have not heard much about that either, recently). I do recall a list of fifty reasons why the EU is a good thing, published by the Independent a long time ago in which being able to keep Mugabe out of the EU was one of the really important ones.

The travel ban on Robert Mugabe as well as his friends and relations are of little use. There is always a reason why just this once they must be allowed to come for whatever reason (extensive shopping in his wife's case, using the money they looted from the people of Zimbabwe and the taxpayers of the West).

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has arrived in Rome for the beatification of the late Pope John Paul II.

An EU travel ban forbids him from visiting member states but the Vatican, where the ceremony will take place, is a sovereign state and not in the EU.

Mr Mugabe, a Roman Catholic, has been allowed to transit through Italy.

Despite the travel ban, Mr Mugabe went to Rome for the funeral of John Paul II in 2005 and for UN food agency conferences in 2008 and 2009.

The sanction on Mr Mugabe was imposed in 2002 over human rights abuses.

Italy's foreign ministry said it had requested an exemption from the EU travel ban for Mr Mugabe.
You know it is a force for good; so why don't you support the EU?

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