## Thursday, October 15, 2009

### Sarkozy: Sterling pounds Tony Blair's chances

In an interview for Le Figaro (EN; see also a report by Reuters), Nicolas Sarkozy repeats some of his vague threats against Czech President Václav Klaus.
Update: According to the newest poll from Oct 16th, 65% of the Czechs support Klaus in his Lisbon opposition. The supporters go across politically parties. Among older (55+ years) people, the support goes to 76%. Among younger (35- years) people, it is 57%. Similar percentages are afraid that the Beneš decrees could be breached in the new Lisbon arrangement. A big majority of people (74%) reject the idea to fire Klaus because of this issue.
The postmodern self-confident Napoleon is sure that he will solve the "problem" by the end of the year.

Well, if he's so certain about his miraculous powers, he can earn a lot of money. The Fortuna betting agency offers the following odds exactly for this question - whether Klaus will sign by the year end:
• 1.7 for 1: Klaus will not sign
• 1.9 for 1: Klaus will sign
The figures mean that if you invest one euro to the "No" answer, you will get 1.70 (i.e. 0.70 plus your 1.00) back if your guess is right: otherwise you will lose your investment; "1.7 for 1" is also called "0.7 to 1". If you invest one euro to the "Yes" answer, you will get 0.90 plus your 1.00 back. Well, it follows that the bookmakers think that it is more likely that Klaus will not sign the treaty by the year end. ;-)

Note that if you invest 1.00 to "No" and 1.00 to "Yes", i.e. 2.00 in total, you will get either 1.70 or 1.90 back: the agency must also make some profit. This paragraph and the previous ones were meant to be a crash course on odds.

Sarkozy must have a ready plan to shoot his Czech counterpart and he must think that it's flawless - otherwise I don't quite understand where his certainty about his minority opinion can come from. President Klaus surely doesn't seem to think that the treaty is acceptable and he is not eager to sign it quickly.

Sarkozy also praises his own - unexceptional - results in the economy. And concerning his socialist minister Frederic Mitterand who has paid Thai boys for sex, Sarkozy says that he will not allow anyone to confuse (bad) pedophilia and (good) homosexuality. Mitterand only did the latter because the boys were apparently already out of the kindergarten - and this kind of government-funded import of Asian homosexual services is a good thing.

Blair and his pounds

But what I found even more remarkable was Sarkozy's answer to the question whether Tony Blair can become the next EU president. You know, these guys already behave as if the Treaty of Lisbon were in force and they are very impatient about the Al Gore rhythms how to divide the new, deeper feeding troughs which is the main thing they really care about. Tony Blair is the most frequently mentioned candidate for the EU president. Does Sarkozy like this candidate?

Sarkozy doesn't know. He doesn't even know whether he prefers a charismatic or an invisible leader. But he says that the existence of the British currency is a "problem" for this candidate.

In other words, only citizens of the eurozone have the right - or a realistic chance - to become leaders of the whole European Union, including the non-eurozone countries, he thinks. That's a pretty amazing opinion. I am not sure whether the Britons will be happy about this Sarkozy rule. By the way, the idea that the euro is superior to the pound seems somewhat misguided: EUR 1.00 is still just GBP 0.92. :-)

Imagine if another leader would inform the world that the president of the EU or France should be at least 170 cm tall or that he shouldn't be a son of a Hungarian aristocratic immigrant to the Western Europe, otherwise it's a problem. Or something like that.

The characteristics that various people may consider to be "problems" may be very diverse. And in an international quasi-state similar to the EU, it's obvious that the nationality of the candidates will be the primary question that the voters will consider relevant: after all, Sarkozy has shown the validity of this observation in practice.

I can't quite imagine how these guys could be choosing the person for the seat of a EU president. It seems so different from the elections of the head of state - either a direct or a parliamentary one - in a normal, quasi-uniform nation, especially because the main feature of the candidates - their nationality (and the number of citizens with the same nationality) is known in advance. I am convinced that democracy simply can't work at a super-national level.

Sarkozy and EU president

I surely have the feeling that Sarkozy would like to become the EU president himself. In the interview, he has also attacked the British economy, including Gordon Brown's VAT tax cuts.

Britain is criticized for having the budget deficit at 10% of the GDP (just like the U.S.) while France sits at "spectacular" 8%. Well, the Czech Republic expects the deficit of 5.5% of GDP this year and everyone thinks that it is a scandalous high number that must be reduced. Clearly, there are different standards for different countries.

France is not doing as well as Czechia or others so its little Nicoleon shouldn't be jumping so self-confidently, I think.