Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Give them mozzarella - or give them death

By Aussiegirl

Europe is not dead yet - at least the Europe of fresh mozzarella cheese swimming in brine, of non-pasteurized Brie or Camambert made according to centuries old recipes and traditions, or unpasteurized Stilton, the queen of English cheeses.

These and other local cultural traditions seem to have spelled the death knell for the EU Constitution -- that behemoth of nanny-state over-regulation and micromanagement. The Eurocrats are going to have to pry the fois gras out of their cold, dead hands if the real Europeans have anything to say about it.

Where the idea of the EU came about, or how it morphed into the 800-pound gorilla it eventually became, is anyone's guess, although once bureaucrats are given any power at all there seems to be no end to the mischief they can get into, or all the places they can decide to stick their busybody noses.

In what turned out to be a prophetic episode of the old English sitcom "Yes, Minister", the characters were utterly appalled at the possibility that a European Union would spell the end of the beloved English "banger" (sausage) and lead to the almost unthinkably horrific "Eurosausage" -- a nightmare concoction that might contain -- GARLIC!!

The Washington Post has a great article well worth the read:

ROME -- On the edge of the Campo de' Fiori open-air market, the question on the mind of Ruggero Ruggeri, a 70-year-old grocery store owner, was this: What does someone at the European Commission in Brussels know about buffalo mozzarella, a genuine Italian article?
Italian shoppers want their fresh cheese floating in brine, which keeps it moist, Ruggeri explained this past week. And they want to be able to tell their grocery man how much to slice off the big pearly white "braids" of the cheese.

Instead, because of European Union rules that came into force two years ago, mozzarella must be packed in plastic with the expiration date stamped all over it. "Mozzarella loses all its flavor sitting in a plastic bag," he declared. "And how can we cut it to order? Our clients have complained. People don't like it anymore."

Similar resentment is resonating throughout the E.U. these days, as the bloc faces a rebellion from within by people who say it has grown too big, too fast and become unaccountable now that it oversees 25 countries with a population of more than 450 million. The objections vary from country to country, but they add up to the same thing, a desire to put the brakes on more than 50 years of integration.

In France, voters rejected a proposed E.U. constitution May 29 by a ratio of 55 to 45.
In the Netherlands, another founding member of the bloc when it was formed in 1952, it was rejected 62 percent to 38 percent three days later. Few voters had actually read the voluminous document, but a "no" vote was a way to protest against the integration that has been a pet project of political elites for half a century but has rarely been put to the citizenry.

Many of the constitution's opponents say they favor a united Europe. It has made cross-border travel easy, and it has provided the convenience of a common currency in 12 countries. Many people believe it has helped make their standard of living among the highest in the world and kept the peace between member countries for more than half a century.

But opponents fret that the push for uniformity threatens local customs and cultural quirks that add up to a way of life.


At 12:48 PM, Blogger Michael Morrison said...

One of the more stupid and nasty myths propagated by the "news" media and leftish politicians and academics is that "deregulation" means deregulation.
It doesn't; it just means different regulation. Airlines and electric companies are still controlled and regulated by governments.
An equal and equally nasty myth is that the North American Free Trade Agreement was about free trade.
It wasn't and isn't: It's about different regulation -- I mean, any document that takes thousands of pages is NOT about free anything.
The European Union is similar. It is perhaps thousands or even tens of thousands of pages of different regulation. It seems, in fact, to create new layers of bureaucrats.
Many thousands of new laws are being considered to allow people and goods to move "freely" across lines that now are borders.
Frankly, I want to eliminate borders; I want people to be free; I want goods to be allowed across those imaginary lines so people can have a genuinely free market.
EU, NAFTA, CAFTA, and all similar proposals are not about free trade or free anything; they are about more government, more bureaucrats, and more controls.
Let us abolish regulations and controls; let us remove restraints and constraints on people and on trading.
Prices will go down; more products will be produced; more people will buy; more people will have better jobs.

At 5:36 PM, Anonymous spanalot said...

How did the concept of the original EU with less trade retrictions devolve into this?

Thankfully, the eastern europeans might still lead the west away from this leftist morass.

At 12:17 PM, Blogger Michael Morrison said...

What a fascinating thought!
Thank you, span, for suggesting it.
It is not, of course, the least bit unlikely, just something most of us probably hadn't considered.
But think: The people who suffered most from tyranny, the people who lived under total government surely would be the people who most would seek and work for and fight for freedom.


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