"Incredibly Stupid" Juncker Opens Pandora's Box

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Raul Ilargi Meijer via The Automatic Earth blog,

Remember the referendum in April in which voters in the Netherlands rejected the EU-Ukraine trade deal? Seems forever ago, doesn’t it? But to date nothing has been done with the outcome of the vote, even though Dutch law requires a government to implement referendum outcomes as swiftly as possible.

PM Mark Rutte told parliament this week that ‘changing’ the deal would be very difficult, and that talks on the topic in the European Council ‘don’t make him happy’. Since one of the things Rutte has demanded from the EU is a pledge that Ukraine will not become an EU member, none of this should be surprising.

But more importantly, the Dutch didn’t vote for Rutte to renegotiate the deal, they outright rejected it. Ergo, Rutte is playing fast and loose with the integrity and credibility of the Dutch legal and political systems as much as the FBI does with America’s in the Clinton email sleight of hand, and as later today Britain will do with its credibility following the Chilcot report on Tony Blair et al.

As if the Brexit fall-out hasn’t done enough damage to that credibility. One might get the distinct impression that the powers-that-be could get awfully annoyed with the riff-raff out there wanting a say in their own lives. But the riff-raff don’t just want a say anymore, they are getting mighty annoyed with the powers-that-be too.

And that is guaranteed to increase if more ‘incidents’ happen like FBI director Jim Comey’s announcement yesterday that Hillary won’t be charged. At some point credibility must come with accountability, or else. The Hillary files bring the US awfully close to that point, as well as to ‘or else’.

Eric Zuesse explains very well why that is:

In Clinton Case, Obama Administration Nullifies 6 Criminal Laws

There can be no excuse for Obama’s depriving the public, via a grand jury decision, of the right to determine whether a full court case should be pursued in order to determine in a jury trial whether Hillary Clinton’s email system constituted a crime (or several crimes) under U.S. laws. The Obama Administration’s ‘finding’ that “clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information” would need to have been proven, in order for her to have been prosecuted under any U.S. criminal law, is a flagrant lie..

 

[..] anyone who in the future would be charged with violating any one of those six laws could reasonably cite the precedent that Ms. Clinton was not even charged, much less prosecuted, for actions which clearly fit the description provided in each one of those U.S. criminal laws. Anyone in the future who would be charged under any one of these six laws could prove discriminatory enforcement against himself or herself.

It is highly irresponsible for any government to play such games, and it’s skating on the edge of the law, something a government should always attempt to avoid. That is essential.

Someone who’s not known to be overly bothered by accountability or integrity is everybody’s favorite wino, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. But Juncker, whatever else may be wrong with him, is not a stupid man. And unless I’m gravely mistaken, he has just saddled the European Union with a problem that could well trigger its undoing.

What happened was that at some point last week, reports started coming out that several parties, especially in Germany, were planning to oust Juncker from his plush job. He read them too, of course. And he may have gotten other signals as well in Brussels backrooms.

Then, Germany and France began to clamor for their parliaments to have a say in the ratification of CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada. And Juncker must have seen his chance for revenge. Because yesterday he announced that all 27 parliaments of EU member nations get to have a crack at CETA.

That is Pandora’s box, and I don’t believe for a second that Juncker is not aware of it. Here’s what Deutsche Welle had to say:

EU Commission: CETA Should Be Approved By National Parliaments

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker is expected to scrap plans to fast-track a trade agreement with Canada through the EU. After pressure from Germany and France, Juncker appears to be backtracking. Juncker will reportedly propose a mixed agreement – one that requires both the approval of the European parliament and national legislatures – at an European Commission meeting on Tuesday. Last week he was reported saying he “personally couldn’t care less” whether lawmakers get to vote on the deal. A report in the Financial Times noted that Germany and France wanted their national parliaments to be involved, which would inevitably lengthen the process.

That Juncker quote indicates something had been brewing for a while. Given the position he’s in, it’s quite funny, though

The deal was scheduled to be signed at the end of October during a summit in Brussels with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and it was due to be implemented in 2017. Trade ministers in Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and UK have reportedly said they will support the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA. CETA is similar to the agreement under negotiation between the EU and US and has drawn strong criticism in EU countries. Canadian and EU leaders concluded CETA in 2014, but implementation was delayed due to last-minute objections in Europe. This was related to an investment protection system to shield companies from government intervention.

Yes, CETA is TTiP on a smaller scale. A sort of test. The nonsensical audacity of ‘an investment protection system to shield companies from government intervention’ says it all.

With opposition to the EU’s impending free trade deal with Canada apparently growing, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said recently that the German parliament should be consulted on the EU’s free trade deal with Canada. “It is a highly political agreement that has been widely discussed,” said Merkel, adding that the “Bundestag is allowed to be involved of course… in national decisions”. German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel told the Tagesspiegel daily that Juncker’s comment was “incredibly stupid” and “would stoke opposition to other free trade deals,” including with the US. German media has also described Juncker’s position as badly timed given the growing skepticism among European voters about the EU.

What Gabriel actually said was that Juncker was “unglaublich töricht”, I looked it up. And it wasn’t his reaction to a ‘comment’, but to Juncker’s initial decision to NOT let national parliaments get their say on CETA. It’s brilliant and hilarious, isn’t it? I think I think quite a bit higher of Juncker now.

Because it was Germany itself that insisted they wanted the Bundestag to get involved (under domestic pressure). But they thought that would be it, that and the French parliament. And Jean-Claude threw it right back in their faces. Since they were going to get rid of him anyway, he decided to leave them the perfect parting gift, the ultimate poisoned chalice.

Getting back to the Dutch referendum on EU and Ukraine, one of the things to know about how this works is that the Dutch can ask for a referendum not on any topic, but only on bills the government sends to parliament to discuss. CETA will now be such a case, and a referendum looks at least quite possible.

I don’t know what comparable legislation is in other EU countries, but no doubt in many countries it’s enough to have their parliaments discuss the issue, to cause havoc. That will mean huge delays and/or worse (just what Juncker initially sought to prevent).

The ‘worse’ in this regard -in the eyes of the politicians- is the possibility of referendums, on CETA, and then on TTiP. And before you know it somewhere in Europe such a referendum will be combined with the question whether the country where it’s held should Remain in the EU or Leave it. It seems for all intents and purposes, inevitable.

How the EU can be kept together is a behemoth conundrum already, even without all these new issues. But now we can be absolutely sure that Brexit is only the beginning.

Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement (M5S) came out as no. 1 in a poll in Italy yesterday. When I visited Beppe almost 5 years ago in Genoa he was still torn over the EU and the euro, but he has since made up his mind: he’s determined to take Italy out of the unholy Union. Europe’s powers-that-be are in for troubled times.

And Jean-Claude Junker will be sitting somewhere in the world in a beach chair by one of his luxurious summer homes, with a big smile on his face and a stiff drink in his hand.

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TahoeBilly2012's picture

And Jean-Claude Junker will be sitting somewhere in the world in a beach chair by one of his luxurious summer homes, with a big smile on his face and a stiff drink in his hand.

And a small boy on his lap...

Shemp 4 Victory's picture

"To make a train wreck even more spectacular, sometimes you have to be truthful."
-- Jean-Claude Juncker

JohninMK's picture

If this unfolds as described it will be a huge blow to Brussels.

Best of all perhaps for Junker, it can all be blamed on the Brits for starting the serious action.

Best of all for us, the riff raff, is it will mean no TTiP.

fajensen's picture

Given the popular suspicions and outright dissent over CETA, TTIP and CISA, I see this as rather than being "a blow" to Brussels, it's a strengtening of Brussels. Brussels telling Germany: "We will not be the bullet-sponge for the unpopular policies that you lot are asking us to implement because you don't have the nuts nor the votes to do in your own parliament".

Juncker is doing good here.

SofaPapa's picture

As expected, this is getting chaotic and ugly, and this is a good thing!  Taking apart these huge agglomerations of centralized power will not be easy or pretty, and there will be violence before this is all over, but disorganization is taking hold.  Praise be!  Disorganization gives power to individuals.  The corporate sponsored monstrosities at the center of our system must die.  Because they are the current base of the pyramid feeding billions of people, the effects of their death will be dramatic.  Big picture, however, is that this is how we can open the space necessary to rearrange human economies so that a more sustainable, freedom-of-individual-action based social structure has an opening to exist.  Guaranteed?  Absolutely not.  But under the current highly centralized power structure, freedom of individual action is guaranteed to suffocate. At least if we can kill the current system with chaos, however high the pain, the potential can exist for voluntary human interactions to begin growing again.

gimpboy's picture

So the only thing that'll be stiff will be him. Not sure if it'll be because of the little boy or if it'll be a case of rigamortis

OldPhart's picture

"And Jean-Claude Junker will be sitting somewhere in the world in a beach chair by one of his luxurious summer homes, with a big smile on his face and a stiff drink in his hand."

I'm pretty sure that some redneck will happily stumble across him and introduce him to the art of air dancing.

These are happy times to those of us that watched in 2008 and decided to get ready for the Big Drop.

Aaaarghh's picture

he will need to be careful of 'accidents'...

doctor10's picture

the Obama Administration nullified nothing.

 

On the other hand, the Clinton Foundation was able to get 6 laws nullified to its candidate's advantage.

 

The Clinton Foundation has totally pwned Fed.Gov in every sense of the word-and evrybody involved is attempting  distraction from the reality hoping nobody notices.

TruthHunter's picture

+100

While she should've been prosecuted and barred from having a clearance because of the email sever, she deserves treason charges over the CF.

Of course  key witnesses will get(are getting) suicided.

 

nohweh's picture

That's a bit below the belt,LOL.

Seeing Red's picture

It's getting deep.  The article I mean -- very deep.

Maestro Maestro's picture

Lemmy Kilmister: "It's a bomber, it's a bomber!.."
Frau Merkel: "No, it's Juncker..."

philipat's picture

The UK will not be a party to any of this now anyway so it matters less to me. These Treaties, however, are a disgrace and do need the clear light of day shining on them, so this is probably the only useful thing that Juncker has ever done, except for exceptional services to the French wine and cognac industry.

Incidentally, how does a career politician come to own many summer residences. GhordEUs can probably answer that and I'm sure that it has nothing to do with all the cozy tax deals he was responsible for when "Leading" Luxembourg?

Amun's picture

"The UK will not be a party to any of this"

 

Really? With May as the next PM?!

philipat's picture

The EU itself will be uncooperative but it will get done. I personally would prefer Leadsom but May was never REALLY in the Remainiac camp, has committed to see it through with no second referendum and has pledged to set up a new Ministry for negotiations with the EU under the leadership of a Brexiteer. I think she recognises that a constituational crisis would result if she plays games, which would result in an early election and a very short term for her as PM?

GreatUncle's picture

Unless you are prepared to instigate a civil war you are going nowhere.

Once you enter you are not allowed to leave ... referendum or not but it does highlight this
http://thenewsdoctors.com/kiss-the-eu-goodbye-post-brexit-anti-eu-political-parties-across-europe-plan-34-referendums/

The EU one big happy family NOT!

Democracy is broken, minority rule now so if you now want to kill the rest of the politicians in parliament be my guest. Also to any twats fighting to overturn governments in any nation around the world, you are voting to replace a tyrant with a tyrant because democracy no longer exists.

USA going to find this out when Trump storms the vote but it is given to Clinton.

philipat's picture

So, Hotel California on the Med?

It WILL get done and the UK is the first of many countries to leave. I see this as the beginning of the end for the EU in its present incarnation. Of course, if it completely disbands all the Brussels aparatus, the flag, anthem and all and reverts to being a free trade area, which is what the peoples of Europe ever voted for (To the extent that they were ever allowed to vote for anything) it would thrive and prosper, with the UK rejoining as a member. Sadly, I don't see the power hungry Europrats ever doing that and they would prefer to see the EU disintegrate than surrender their draconian totalitarian powers.

ONEwarrior's picture

Yes, WWIII is here in it's early stages. This time World War will be altogether different from the first two. IMHO it will be civil war throughout the civilized world. Therefore, keep stacking the BBBs

rondellio's picture

Not just Juncker, Hollande declared ownership of 4 houses around the time he said that he did not like the rich.  Looking at Europe it is not hard top find examples of tax priveliges for politicians, which makes them a kind of feudal caste.  

 

philipat's picture

a/k/a champagne socialism. Do as I say, not as I do? Hillary uses the same model....

Ghordius's picture

philipat: "...how does a career politician come to own many summer residences. GhordEUs can probably answer that..."

mythology

you request for myths. like me being "GhordEUs", a kind of defender of the EU, regardless, a priori, whatever, "My Country, Right or Wrong" and so on

you are not the only one. the author of this article is himself a great bard of EU Mythology

this blog lives and thrives on myths. too bad they are often so low quality. like this new "Juncker Summer Houses"... myth

why don't you look up why Juncker resigned as prime minister of his country? that is way more damaging to his reputation. but yes, as soon as the UK is not involved, whatever happens on this Continent can be mythology, it "matters less" to you, I translate this as "whatever". well, it has global impacts, but ok

the problem here is that if I write that Juncker is a moderate centrist... non-continentals often don't even have the faintest idea what I am talking about, really

phil, we agree on one thing: "These Treaties, however, are a disgrace and do need the clear light of day shining on them". fully

now, to Juncker. I call him the Drunken Master of Political Judo. It's easy to misunderstand or misjudge him. Most underestimate him. It's one of his strenghts

witness how the author, Raul Ilargi Meijer, is usually busy taking some info from Russian sites, blenderize them and serving the "SuperState EU" cool, in the case of Greece as one that ought to have done more (Russian pov) and is doing too much against the citizen (American pov)

this same author is busy building myths. and so he writes an article titled ""Incredibly Stupid" Juncker opens Pandora's Box"

he is a pro, he knows that most won't read the whole article, and are happy about the new myths, simple and easy to digest

cue in the cheap (and completely fabricated) innuendo "summer houses, plural". and... everybody is happy

but in the article, the author checks why he was called so. that's for the few that do read the articles, and ask questions

and, lo and behold... "It’s brilliant and hilarious, isn’t it? I think I think quite a bit higher of Juncker now."

yes, Raul. The Drunken Master is both brilliant and hilarious. And he scored a few points with you, didn't he? If you followed continental politics a bit more then just for the purpose of crafting a few myths for the consumption of not-really-interested English-speakers, you would appreciate him even more

instead, you are... not interested enough to really look into. and so you come with a "How the EU can be kept together is a behemoth conundrum already, even without all these new issues. But now we can be absolutely sure that Brexit is only the beginning."

Juncker is a guy that greets Orban with a "here comes the dictator", with a mock Hitler salute, and slaps him lightly on his face, all with cameras running

and you know what? it's good for Hungary that he did it (and similar things). it's good for the Visegrad Group (witness who was laughing next to him when he did it) and it's good for representative democracy and Parliamentarism, euro-style

first, sovereignty. whereas the EU is to be the servant of the sovereign members

second, constitutions. whereas the EU does not deserve a constitution

third, rule of law. whereas the EU is there to serve, again

fourth, representative democracy and Parliaments. whereas the EU Parliament is/has that... but again, because of it's "assist" role, should never propose anything. that's what the Council is for. Because our darling weasel ministers have to agree first, since they are sent by those who they serve, too: the national parliaments

the real strenght of the EU is not in treaties

both CETA and TTIP are designed to weaken the sovereignty, constitutions, rule of law and the representative democracy embodied in elected national Parliaments

both CETA and TTIP are... designed to destroy what the EU is supposed to be, and to shackle the sovereign members

Juncker appeared to be favouring a "fast track" and... in the words of the author, "Jean-Claude threw it right back in their faces"

score for Juncker, applause from me

you could wonder how he got his job. well, the EPP had a convention in Dublin, and choose him

what is the EPP, the European People's Party, you ask? it's the european center-right. don't ask me for an equivalent in English-speaking countries, then there is no equivalent in them. Up to Cameron taking the British Torys out of the EPP just to underline that

rant end

Ghordius's picture

oh, I forgot this one:

"PM Mark Rutte told parliament this week that ‘changing’ the deal would be very difficult, and that talks on the topic in the European Council ‘don’t make him happy’. Since one of the things Rutte has demanded from the EU is a pledge that Ukraine will not become an EU member, none of this should be surprising.

But more importantly, the Dutch didn’t vote for Rutte to renegotiate the deal, they outright rejected it. Ergo, Rutte is playing fast and loose with the integrity and credibility of the Dutch legal and political systems as much as the FBI does with America’s in the Clinton email sleight of hand, and as later today Britain will do with its credibility following the Chilcot report on Tony Blair et al."

Raul here has a complete misunderstanding of the role of a minister and the role of a parliament or a referendum

in ancient Roman terms, the minister is entrusted by parliament with "imperium" (or potestas), while the parliament or the referendum confer "auctoritas"

in modern terms, power to act (executive powers) and authority (legislative powers)

a minister is never bound by a rejection of treaty A from proposing another treaty, i.e. treaty B. regardless if it's parliament or a referendum taking authority away, saying "no"

if you want to get rid of a minister because he is proposing the same treaty, rephrased and rehashed, all the time... well, then you need a vote in parliament, and he is political history. but as long as he is minister, it's his call to propose. his constitutional mandate

so no. Rutte is completely inside his duties as prime minister to re-propose a new deal, even if the changes are slight

the comparison with the political dirt surfacing in the UK and the US is completely moot, and just the usual projection

Panic Mode's picture

Couldn't care less. I am already out, got my own shit to care about. I must say reading these affair articles now feel like flicking celebrity trashy magazine.

Librarian's picture

whatever else may be wrong with him, is not a stupid man.

Sure.  I'll go with you on that point.

Could we also say that he is egocentric and prone to somewhat erratic judgment?

diniweidrwydd's picture

"Could we also say that he is egocentric and prone to somewhat erratic judgment?" Wasn't old Adolf a bit like that too?

skinwalker's picture

Smart people can still do something monumentally stupid.

In my experience being arrogant is more dangerous than being dumb.

PutinReloaded's picture

If the CETA treaty is sent to national parliaments vor voting it will not be adopted, but I don't see why refusing these unfair treaties is equated with "undoing" of the EU. A refusal rather reinforces it.

GreatUncle's picture

By the decision for or against you strengthen, build and bind the EU ... it is where the EU has gone wrong to much EU and not enough of the decision process across all the nations with it seems one nation running the show Germany as a puppet of course for the US.

Wahooo's picture

Destroying the EU to save the EU.

GoldIsMoney's picture

Make that

Destroying the EU to save Europe.

SpanishGoop's picture

Rutte himself about our 61% NO and this while being chairman of the EU !

Rutte comes to nothing. Silence. Silent. Delay. Against Van den Brink says literally : " It is quiet There was really nobody in Brussels opened the door when I rang to speak about Ukraine . . "
philipat's picture

Wahtever happened to Holland. The Dutch used to be such nice open liberal people. Then came MH107 and now all this Ukraine nonsense. What does the NSA have on Holland's leadership I wonder?

SpanishGoop's picture

If everything fails, become a Dutch Prime Minister.

"Rutte attended a gymnasium high school, specialising in the arts, from 1979 until 1985. Although Rutte's original ambition was to attend the Conservatory and become a concert pianist,[5] he went to study history at Leiden University, where he obtained a MA degree in History in 1992"

"After his studies, Rutte entered the business world, working as a manager for Unilever "

 

But now, the Dutch do not want him anymore, Brussels doesn't want him, and big-business neither.

So his dream to become a concert pianist may come out soon.

 

GreatUncle's picture

In all this everybody blames it on BREXIT...

You mean it took a poxy little island of 70 million people to expose all the global shit that has been going on.

The bit that gets me on this though is not Junkers behaviour he just shows the undemocratic appointed tyrant ... comes to be because not elected.

THIS:-

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said recently that the German parliament should be consulted on the EU’s free trade deal with Canada

May as well go the whole hog Merkel and have a referendum it is the disquiet nobody is allowed to discuss unless it is disquiet for Germany then off to the German parlimanent to debate and decide. WHAT HAPEENED TO EVERYBODY ELSE'S PARLIAMENT.

Silence ...

 

Wahooo's picture

Never understood why the rest of Europe wants to be ruled by the Germans. It always seems to come back to that.

walküre's picture

It's not the Germans who want to rule! The French are putting the Germans in this miserable position because they themselves are suffering from desastrous delusions of grandeur and Germany had no choice but to step up to the plate.

Leave us all the fuck alone to doing what we do best. Invent stuff or talk about inventing stuff. All we want to do is to work and earn a decent living. Is that too much to ask? Nobody in Germany needs a 4th layer of super government breathing down their necks as they go about their ordinary lives of work or creating opportunity.

Brussels is a French invention. It is crippling every economy. Just like the French have been busy crippling their own economy for decades.

The French are the worst bureaucrats. It's even a French word!

WTFUD's picture

In 1914 onwards the big 4 heads of the Western Central Banks got together to divvy up the Rest of the World and not a lot has changed since.

The USSofA, UK, Germany and France finance the operations, dish out le bombs and regardless of the fallout get together during and afterwards to apportion costs to the 'great unwashed'. bless 'em all!

Niall Of The Nine Hostages's picture

They don't. They hated being lorded over by German minorities long before Hitler. Most European countries expelled its German minorities after 1945.

In Romania, may I say few people were amused when an ethnic German was appointed their president by the EU with the aid of fraudulent votes allegedly from Romanians abroad.

In a real sense the Germans were the Jews Hitler warned the Germans about. The Jews and Russians were marked for extermination because the Jews and Russians were the only serious competition to the Germans for dominion of Europe.

gezley's picture

As an Irishman all I can say is it is infinitely preferable to be ruled by the Germans than by Anglo-America, together with its behind-the-scenes power-broker, Zion. Brexit was a great day for Europe; the next decade will prove this beyond all doubt, when the European currency and European army and European economy will be unrivalled. Of course in the meantime the Americans and their friends the British will engage in numerous acts of sabotage across the continent in acts of vindictive spite. Bombings, shootings, financial warfare, propaganda in the media - they will use anything and everything at their disposal to ensure Europe does not threaten Anglo hegemony.

A losing battle for them, however, though they will be vicious and will seem to be victorious on occasion.

It's the end that matters.

exomike's picture

Perhaps soon the peasants will remember the law of gravity and how well it works with the Guillotine. 

snakehead's picture

Credibility doesn't matter. We're past the tipping point, worldwide, and the snowball's still racing downhill. Those with power do what they want and have to deal only with others in power.  Get used to the "too much democracy" meme and hunker down.

pc_babe's picture

Viche France has always championed Germany rule.

LIBTARDS ... ya got luv 'em

WTFUD's picture

Sign, here, here and here, it's a secret . . . In France we have a basket case playing casino roulette shaftmeister pimp to a dozen or so small basket cases; No more bets . . .

otschelnik's picture

Juncker's a wino. Beppe Grillo's a former clown and comedian.  The English political leadership is showing remarkable solidarity in cowardice as they resign from their posts after pissing in the mess kit.  Hollande sneaks off to visit his mistress on a scooter.  Merkel is the homey frau trying to keep the disfunctional family from falling apart. 

Whatever happened to guys like Churchill, DeGaulle, Adenauer?