11 December 2014

Deeper into the mire

Is Jean-Claude's jacket on a shoogly peg?  The revelations continue:
Pressure is mounting on Jean-Claude Juncker, the European commission president, after fresh allegations emerged outlining the tactics he used when he was prime minister of Luxembourg to promote the country as the destination for multinational corporations.
Bob Comfort, the former head of tax for Amazon, claimed Juncker had fiercely courted the online giant, behaving as a “business partner” and “helping solve problems”. Months after arriving in Luxembourg in 2003, Amazon secured a confidential deal from the local tax office. Two months ago that deal became the subject of a formal investigation by the European commission.
On the other hand:
For the moment at least, Juncker looks tarnished by the disclosures, but not really in fear for his job. Although he is free to resign, he cannot be removed as an individual. The entire European commission would have to go, felled by a vote of no confidence in the European parliament. This is a remote prospect at the moment. And for this to happen, national leaders, chief among them Merkel, would have to signal that Juncker’s time is up and then press their allies in the parliament into organising the commission’s collapse. No one in Brussels at present is talking in such terms.
Which explains why so many become so frustrated with the Brussels machine.  Meanwhile, the European Commission will limp along with a president widely regarded as damaged - which probably suits the European Parliament as well as the Member States of the European Council. 


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