We've been told that there are hundreds of examples of the European Union projects that look comical but it's always interesting to see particular examples.
On Wednesday, April 18th, the European Union apparatchiks have approved a nice EUR 46.5 million project:
What is the logic behind it? The left-wing politicians controlling the European Union are apparently ashamed that their ancestors discovered America and managed various colonies in the past.
So believing the insane ideology that their poverty was caused by the European imperialists (just to be sure, poverty is the natural state of the human society and one needs to build working capitalism to redirect the society into a different state), they have to help those folks in the Caribbean and elsewhere. Because they don't want to invite those folks to their living rooms, they decided to help them do business. And it's been determined that the most important business of some Caribbean nations that should be supported by the Europeans – in order to help them fight poverty – is the Caribbean rum.
I guess that many others who think "differently" try to get higher tax revenues out of alcoholic beverages.
With such news, you shouldn't be surprised that most of the Czechs don't support the European integration anymore. According to the latest poll, only 1/3 of the nation believes that a united Europe has a future; 52 percent of the Czechs think it doesn't. Less than 20 percent would strengthen the integration and shared competencies, 40% would keep the current degree of integration, and 23 percent would weaken it. 22 percent prefer a deeper integration of Czechia into the EU, 41 percent favor status quo, and 24 percent would weaken it. The overall approval rate of the EU keeps on shrinking; it is currently at 40 percent.
This Fernet beach commercial has won the "Best Feminist Ad of the 2000s" award chosen by the Harvard And MIT Feminist Task Force For Women In The Advertisement Industry. The judgewomen particularly appreciated the end of the commercial which promotes the gender equality by the slogan: "Fernet Stock: even men have their days of menstruation."
There is one more issue that makes the comical story about rum very relevant for us, especially those of us in the Eastern suburbs of Pilsen. I live less than 1 mile (East) from the Pilsner brewery but it's not the only well-known beverage maker in my town. If you walk for less than 1 mile in a perpendicular direction, namely to the South, you will find Stock Božkov, the producer of heavier alcoholic beverages. Its Fernet (established in 1927) has become a valuable brand; excellent advertisements such as the example above have helped.
For more than a century, Stock has also been Czechia's largest producer of the so-called Domestic Rum ("Tuzemský rum" in Czech); see the picture at the top. Why was it called rum? Well, it's because it is really a rum, chemically speaking. However, it's made from sugar beet and rum essence/extract/flavor (which is probably obtained by distillation of real rum-like liquids). When we entered the European Union, the EU apparatchiks have actually prohibited the usage of the standard Czech term, Domestic Rum, because it contains the word "rum". According to the insane EU regulation that contradicts basic chemistry (such as the equivalence of ethanol and ethyl alcohol), the term "rum" may only be used for things produced out of sugarcanes.
The EU has tons of examples of this harassment. The European definition of a banana and its allowed interval of the Riemann curvature tensor – a set of conditions that aren't satisfied by the Latin American bananas (in this case, the bill is directed against Latin America) – is the most famous example.
So the Domestic Rum was renamed as the Domestie ("Tuzemák"), an OK nickname that would have sometimes been used, anyway. An alternative is "Božkov Original Domestic" (no "rum" in it). With 9 million liters sold a year, it's still among the most widely sold strong beverages in the world. But now it's not just about the name. The EU is actually actively paying money to the non-European competition to help them defeat the domestic producers – those who even have the word "domestic" in the name of the products. Holy cow. Of course, Stock, the alcoholic company in Pilsen, has already complained to the EU.
This is another example of the political correctness run amok. It's unfair and it won't help the folks in the Caribbean, anyway. It's unfair because Czechia has also been a colony of some Western European empires in the past – whether we talk about Austria or Germany – and we're also savages who have been discriminated against and who deserve this help if someone else does. Our producers have been harassed in similar ways since our EU entry and in terms of a financial amount, the damages have arguably been comparable to the overall amount of money that we received as net malefactors.
(The list of traditional Czech brands in the food industry that have been banned is particularly long. A positive exception are Olomouc syrečky/tvarůžky – smelly surface ripened round cheese from Olomouc – which became regionally protected by the EU against the will of some Germans and Austrians.)
It won't help the Caribbean countries much because such an activity will help them to get satisfied with the production of rum and the production of rum is not what the wealthiest nations want to do to be wealthy. There are many ways how the EU could help to the third world. In particular, it could and should open the markets for free trade.