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Thread: Should we be afraid of the Tories winning the elections in May ?

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    Question Should we be afraid of the Tories winning the elections in May ?



    The Tories, Britain's conservative party, are heading the polls as the likely winner of the UK general election on 6 May 2010. They are eurosceptics and have promised to seek more opt-outs from the EU (in matters of justice and social laws, notably) and possibly even consider a withdrawal of the UK from the Union.

    The Economist has written a nice summary of the history of Britain's relationship with the European Union.

    Not playing their games - The awkward relationship between Britain and the rest of Europe may be about to get a lot worse

    But this is what's worrying:

    David Cameron's splendid isolation - The extent to which Britain’s Tories and Europe’s leaders don’t understand each other is frightening

    Please read and share your opinion.

    The way I see it is that David Cameron, if elected, might do a lot of damage, not to the EU but to Britain itself. Further opt-outs will end up penalising the UK without much effect on other members. His isolationist policies will give a bad image to Britain and possibly ostracise the British politically and economically. All the Tories will achieve is missing opportunities to influence the future of Europe. The pound might well fall further, which would render imports, so important for British consumers, exceptionally expensive, with direct effect to augment the cost of life and make Britons poorer.

    I had warned that the Irish refusal to ratify Lisbon two years ago would have harmful consequences. A majority of Irish did not realise just how dependent they were from the EU, and how much of their economic success was due to EU policies and aid. They got the message with the credit crunch. What will it take for the English to (for the Scots and Welsh won't vote Tory) to get the message ? I'd hate to see a country I like so dearly commit political suicide just by being presumptuous and ignorant of European matters.
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    Biased article. Nothing new keeping in mind that The Economist actively collaborate in the recent speculative attack against the spanish public debt... and it's going on:

    At its best, it can set a good example. Think, for instance, of the impetuous way in which Greece, Portugal and Spain rushed unprepared into Europe’s single currency, the euro.
    What a load of BS. Spain's public accounts are no near where Greece's are, our public debt is even lower than the british one (link).

    This kind of journalists are merely servants of the same bunch of greedy capitalist that caused the current financial crisis and the collapse of the british banking system with their liberal politics. They surely aren't fans of the new european banking legislation so I'm not surprised that they are using all their social influence and power to push UK away from the EU ways.

    Greetings.

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    You're looking at this the wrong way, you're looking at it from the top down.

    What shouldn't be ignored is that the people of the United Kingdom are the foundation on which the democratic government rests, and that under the Labour government the power of the European Union has increased, and that this has fed a growing sense of resistance to EU legislation.

    You suggest that the tories would be bad for the relationship because they'll take a harder line on the issue of national sovereignty and because they're concerned about a lack of economic competitiveness in Europe, but this is to miss the real substance of the interaction.

    Another Labour government would fail - as it has failed for over a decade now - to address the concerns of the public and would only continue to feed this growing resentment toward EU legislation, whereas a tory government would be more willing to address those concerns, perhaps redress some of the balance, and (one hopes) quell the flow of votes to the British National Party and the UK Independence Party.
    Last edited by Invictus_88; 08-04-10 at 18:23. Reason: Grammary stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Invictus_88 View Post
    What shouldn't be ignored is that the people of the United Kingdom are the foundation on which the democratic government rests
    Are you suggesting that it is different in other European countries ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Invictus_88 View Post
    Another Labour government would fail - as it has failed for over a decade now - to address the concerns of the public and would only continue to feed this growing resentment toward EU legislation, whereas a tory government would be more willing to address those concerns, perhaps redress some of the balance, and (one hopes) quell the flow of votes to the British National Party and the UK Independence Party.
    I would personally favour the Liberal Democrats, but the English nowadays have an annoying tendency to vote either for socialists (well in name at least) or for far-right conservative isolationists. Britain's greatness was build under Liberal governments (starting with the Whigs), like Walpole, Earl Grey, Viscount Melbourne, Lord Russell, Viscount Palmerston or Gladstone, not Labour or Neo-Con Isolationists. Churchill was a conservative but was in office mostly during wartime, and was not an isolationist anti-European anyway.

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    I'm suggesting that your political worldview wasn't accounting for that fact.

    The tories aren't isolationist, you have them mixed up with the BNP and the UK Independence Party.

    NB. It's not lost on me that you find the freely-exercised political will of the British people 'annoying'. You are not alone, unfortunately, in viewing things in this way.

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    Anyone who for a moment in time thinks that the UK has a democratically elected government needs a serious reality check.

    The UK electoral system is utterly UN democratic, as is Parliament especially in the way that The Upper House is selected and plies its trade.

    A Tory win? The best hope for Britain as a coutry but it won't be comfortable if the win. the Thatcher years will look like a walk in the park.

    Unemployment must be raised by at least a million and ideally more to account for all the useless “make work” jobs that Blair and Brown have created in the Public Sector being ended. Better to pay unemployment pay than a higher wage for a useless job.

    Every man woman and child must have around three thousand pounds deducted from what is spent by the government at present, and the standard of living must fall closer to that which the earning capacity of Britain equates to.

    Social changes must be introduced from root to branch. The pension mess must be resolved, best would be a cap on all public sector pensions, state pension should be abandoned and replaced with means tested payments, charging must be introduced into the NHS, and the immigration mess must be resolved with forcible deportation of failed asylum seekers and a moratorium of all future asylum grants.

    And that’s just scratching the surface. ANYTHING less simply won’t “cut the mustard”.

    It ain’t gonna be pretty.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Invictus_88 View Post
    NB. It's not lost on me that you find the freely-exercised political will of the British people 'annoying'. You are not alone, unfortunately, in viewing things in this way.
    All Europeans (actually all Westerners) can freely-exercised political will. The problem is countries like the UK, Ireland and the USA is that the media have a much heavier weight than elsewhere. People think that they decide freely when in fact the majority of ordinary people is brainwashed everyday by what they read in newspapers on hear on TV.

    Unfortunately many British (and Irish) media, especially those owned by Murdoch's News Corp., like the Sun, the Times, ITV, or BSkyB, are notoriously anti-European. It is no coincidence that the only countries where the EU isn't popular are those where a sizeable part of the media are vociferously anti-EU.

    I can understand that Americans may feel threatened by the increasing political power of the EU. A strong, unified EU would be a rival for them in directing world order. Murdoch, a US-based American with a huge weight in US politics, shares that view too. I suppose that their ideal worldview is one where the world is dominated by English-speaking countries, and where Britain, Ireland, Canada and Australia side with the USA (almost as vassal states).

    I don't understand why they lump together the US with the former British Empire. Language isn't a goof argument enough. Most Europeans can speak English and have no problem using English as their main language for business, science, politics or international relations in general. The EU is only reinforcing the use of English in Europe by increasing cross-border movement and communication. Brussels is officially French- and Dutch-speaking, but English is the de facto lingua franca for everyone except African immigrants. In some sector (e.g. real estate) ads are sometimes in English only (no French or Dutch at all !).

    Then, American and British cultures are incredibly different, often at the antipodes. Americans are loud and strike up a conversation easily with anyone in a line/queue or elevator/lift. Britons are more reserved and usually will avoid talking to strangers or in a queue or lift. British culture and lifestyle is much closer to to the rest of (northern) Europe. I don't know why people supporting the UKIP or Conservative Party think that they are better off without Europe or by being closer still to the US.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gwyllgi View Post
    Anyone who for a moment in time thinks that the UK has a democratically elected government needs a serious reality check.

    The UK electoral system is utterly UN democratic, as is Parliament especially in the way that The Upper House is selected and plies its trade.

    Seen that way it is true that Britain is the only Western country with an unelected upper house of Parliament. The Prime Minister isn't directly elected like a president in the USA or France, but that's the case for most PM.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwyllgi View Post
    A Tory win? The best hope for Britain as a coutry but it won't be comfortable if the win. the Thatcher years will look like a walk in the park.
    Best hope ? A Tory victory would almost be as bad for the UK and its image as Bush Jr's election as US president. Cameron isn't Bush, but he is also conservative and not well disposed towards the EU. Even very strongly pro-British Europeans like me (and I often feel isolated) will have to rethink Britain's future in the EU, and might well do their Internet shopping elsewhere than on British websites. Just look at what happened to Ireland after they voted against the Lisbon Treaty. If you think that it is only the credit crunch that damaged the Irish economy... Their no to Lisbon was a no to Europe, and it was time for them to realise that their economy was entirely dependent on the EU, and only prospered in the last few decades because of the EU.

    It's amazing that there are still people in Britain who think that the USA is their main trading partner. Trade between the UK and the US only amount to 10% of British trade. The EU accounts for over 80% of all imports and exports in the UK.

    Considering how unpopular the British Conservatives are in Europe (the only foreign party to alienate people after Bush's neo-cons), their victory would potentially have dramatic consequences on the British economy. The USA went well in the red under Bush, and wasn't half as dependent on the EU as Britain is.

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    Cameron has been very careful in this lead up to the election to walk a knife edge on many matters because the utterly unscrupulous Labour Propaganda machine has and will continue to use distortion, partial data, and even downright lies to counter anything that challenges it.

    Likewise the lunatic UKIP mob, a group of “little Englanders” who hanker after what actually never was and now would be devastating would attract a deal of Tory voters who also don’t understand the realities of life if DC came out too pro-Europe.

    Likewise the Labour lot are, I am sure, looking at deeper involvement with the EU as a ‘get out of jail” card and joining the Eurozone as a means of getting someone else to pay their debts though Greece has certainly ‘pissed on their chips’ in that respect by getting in there first.

    A HUGE problem is that politicians here have used the EU as the excuse for their own shortcomings and incompetence. They have used the natural xenophobia of an Island people combined with the failure by the majority of the British public to realise that GB is now a (well) spent state as the foundations to perpetuate the idea that civilisation ends at the channel ports. But without mentioning that although that premise may have some truth, it must now be seen from the French side.

    The British people for the most part are not politically astute, if they were there would have been a demand for PR years ago. They don’t know and have not been allowed to learn the true state of play, just look at the dreadful thing that Brown has done in his gross mishandling of the Economy and how he is presenting a positive GDP as being a GOOD thing.

    And yet when in the position that Britain is in today and the basis on which the GDP is growing is considered what comes out is that Britain is in an unholy mess, a significant reduction in GDP is required, and we need to be living within our means which we patently are not.

    I think that history will view this election as the election that was fought on lies, half truths, and vapour. Where the real issues were never allowed to form a part of the debates and were never even allowed to be mentioned.

    I do know this, there’s a hard time coming and the issue will be to restore Britain’s broken financial sector and repair as much of the damage that Blair and Brown have caused as is possible. I wouldn’t trust Labour for a moment, especially as it’s plain that shortly after the election Brown will go and (in my opinion) Mandelson will take a much more obvious role whereas today he’s simply making the bullets for Brown to fire.

    Maybe when push comes to shove it all comes down to who would the least worst party be to form the new government.

    Doesn’t that say something terrible about the state that British politics has been reduced to.

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    Well, since Labour cannot be trusted and the Cons would bring such a bad image on British politics abroad, that only leaves us with the Lib Dems.

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    I’ve got a lot of time for Vince Cable, but not a great deal for their policies.

    I have a nasty feeling that life and politics in the UK will have to get worse before it can get better.

    From what I see a quick and dirty estimate of the recovery plan needed and based on bringing the UK government debt to a sustainable level would mean taking around 3,000 pounds sterling from what is spent on every man woman and child in Britain.

    Because many cost the nation far less than three thousand as it is it would mean that those costing more would be hardest hit, and yet it will have to happen.

    The question is what effect will that have on society. Greece is a bellwether for the UK.

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    [QUOTE=Maciamo;Best hope ? A Tory victory would almost be as bad for the UK and its image as Bush Jr's election as US president. Cameron isn't Bush, but he is also conservative and not well disposed towards the EU. Even very strongly pro-British Europeans like me (and I often feel isolated) will have to rethink Britain's future in the EU, and might well do their Internet shopping elsewhere than on British websites. Just look at what happened to Ireland after they voted against the Lisbon Treaty. If you think that it is only the credit crunch that damaged the Irish economy... Their no to Lisbon was a no to Europe, and it was time for them to realise that their economy was entirely dependent on the EU, and only prospered in the last few decades because of the EU.[/QUOTE]

    The credit crunch burst the property bubble in Ireland which was inflated by greedy developers, unscrupulous and corrupt bankers and an incredibly low European central bank interest rate's. The most we can hope for now is to see these sons of bitches in cuffs being lead to gaol but thats another debate. Ireland is facing its problems, NAMA for the sick banks, facing down public sector unions, cutting wages and general spending cuts, Britain will have to face the same cuts but theres no indication any of the parties have an appetite for it before the elections.

    Britain is still Irelands biggest export market and tourist market, anything that weakens sterling will affect our economy so its obvious Ireland would prefer greater European integration for the UK but thats our problem, Britains will have to make up their own minds where they see their future.

    On an aside: After WW2 the EEC was set up in the hope of avoiding another war, Britain was bombed but never occupied, I wonder has that had an effect on the British psychic, not having the same commitment as other European countries not feeling they have as much to lose?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starship View Post
    On an aside: After WW2 the EEC was set up in the hope of avoiding another war, Britain was bombed but never occupied, I wonder has that had an effect on the British psychic, not having the same commitment as other European countries not feeling they have as much to lose?
    Many EU countries were never occupied in WWII : Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Sweden, UK, half of France... and of course the invaders themselves, Germany, Austria, Italy. Denmark, Norway, the Benelux, Alsace and Lorraine were seen as parts of the Greater Germany and didn't suffer much (not more than Germans in Germany, except for the hurt pride). Actually it's mostly Eastern Europe that suffered. In France the Nazi behaved as if they were on holiday, sightseeing and having a good time in Paris. Londonders had a harder time under the bombings than Parisians under the occupation.

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    Wasn't all of France occupied in the end even the Vichy part, anyway all 6 of the original EEC founders were occupied either during the war or afterwards by the allies.

    There is probably a bit of a difference in a peoples mentality between being attacked and winning as opposed to be being beaten and subjugated. Had there been a land bridge between Britain and the continent over the last 150 years Britain's might have a totally different out look on Europe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    People think that they decide freely when in fact the majority of ordinary people is brainwashed everyday by what they read in newspapers on hear on TV.
    I couldn't agree more, the number of times I have asked someones opinion on any subject only to have the medias spin spewed back at me. Most people don't have enough information to actually form a valid opinion, so rather than inform themselves they grab at the first opinion layed out for them by newspapers.

    I'm not one for beating up on Labour, people need reminding this was a global recession and far beyond the medling of one party in the UK, i'm not saying they didnt play their part but there are few who can claim to be innocent. I am slowly moving toward the concept of Scottish independance, small northern European countries with access to oil do rather well.

    While in principle I think the lib Dems make alot of sense, I think their policies to radical in a time of economic instability.

    I was dissapointed watching the recent televised political debates on TV. It seemed to me people were taken in on a social level rather than a political one. It was less about who made the most sense and communicated their arguement but who came across better as a performance, essentially style over substance.

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    I wouldn't mind getting out of the EU, or any other country

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    Quote Originally Posted by edao View Post
    I was dissapointed watching the recent televised political debates on TV. It seemed to me people were taken in on a social level rather than a political one. It was less about who made the most sense and communicated their arguement but who came across better as a performance, essentially style over substance.
    Unfortunately that's often the case in politics. People who don't (try to) understand serious issues end up judging politicians on style and impression.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    All Europeans (actually all Westerners) can freely-exercised political will. The problem is countries like the UK, Ireland and the USA is that the media have a much heavier weight than elsewhere. People think that they decide freely when in fact the majority of ordinary people is brainwashed everyday by what they read in newspapers on hear on TV.
    Unfortunately many British (and Irish) media, especially those owned by Murdoch's News Corp., like the Sun, the Times, ITV, or BSkyB, are notoriously anti-European. It is no coincidence that the only countries where the EU isn't popular are those where a sizeable part of the media are vociferously anti-EU.
    I can understand that Americans may feel threatened by the increasing political power of the EU. A strong, unified EU would be a rival for them in directing world order. Murdoch, a US-based American with a huge weight in US politics, shares that view too. I suppose that their ideal worldview is one where the world is dominated by English-speaking countries, and where Britain, Ireland, Canada and Australia side with the USA (almost as vassal states).
    I don't understand why they lump together the US with the former British Empire. Language isn't a goof argument enough. Most Europeans can speak English and have no problem using English as their main language for business, science, politics or international relations in general. The EU is only reinforcing the use of English in Europe by increasing cross-border movement and communication. Brussels is officially French- and Dutch-speaking, but English is the de facto lingua franca for everyone except African immigrants. In some sector (e.g. real estate) ads are sometimes in English only (no French or Dutch at all !).
    Then, American and British cultures are incredibly different, often at the antipodes. Americans are loud and strike up a conversation easily with anyone in a line/queue or elevator/lift. Britons are more reserved and usually will avoid talking to strangers or in a queue or lift. British culture and lifestyle is much closer to to the rest of (northern) Europe. I don't know why people supporting the UKIP or Conservative Party think that they are better off without Europe or by being closer still to the US.
    How novel - when a population elects to move closer to EU federalisation, which you personally approve of, they are being enlightened and wise, and when a population elects to stand back and defend its sovereignty, which you personally disapprove of, they are a bovine herd of media-indoctrinated slaves.
    Our conversation is proving an interesting insight into the mindset of those who would drag us all closer together into political union.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Best hope ? A Tory victory would almost be as bad for the UK and its image as Bush Jr's election as US president. Cameron isn't Bush, but he is also conservative and not well disposed towards the EU. Even very strongly pro-British Europeans like me (and I often feel isolated) will have to rethink Britain's future in the EU, and might well do their Internet shopping elsewhere than on British websites. Just look at what happened to Ireland after they voted against the Lisbon Treaty. If you think that it is only the credit crunch that damaged the Irish economy... Their no to Lisbon was a no to Europe, and it was time for them to realise that their economy was entirely dependent on the EU, and only prospered in the last few decades because of the EU.
    It's amazing that there are still people in Britain who think that the USA is their main trading partner. Trade between the UK and the US only amount to 10% of British trade. The EU accounts for over 80% of all imports and exports in the UK.
    Gosh, careful Mac. That has more than a whiff of blackmail about it, you know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Invictus_88 View Post
    How novel - when a population elects to move closer to EU federalisation, which you personally approve of, they are being enlightened and wise, and when a population elects to stand back and defend its sovereignty, which you personally disapprove of, they are a bovine herd of media-indoctrinated slaves.
    Our conversation is proving an interesting insight into the mindset of those who would drag us all closer together into political union.
    There is no future in isolationism in today's globalised economy (sorry if I vexed your insular Guernesian sensibilities - fiscal paradises are exceptions).

    I suppose there is no need to convince a Briton that economic liberalism (free market) is better than communist-style reclusion. After all modern liberalism is a British invention. The Single European Market is a paradigm of British-style liberalism. Ironically it is Britain that now has a tendency to close itself when other countries are opening up. Voting Cameron equals voting against one of the dearest historical values that made Britain's fortunes in the last 300 years : Liberalism. Even Communist China is more open than the would-be-Britain in a Tory's mind. It's richly ironic that the Labour Party, a nominally "socialist" party, should be more liberal than a right-wing party. What the hell has happened in Britain ? Everything is upside down.

    Politically, Europe needs to to be united for a number of reasons that few people would contest: preserving peace, better defence, stronger political voice in the world... but most importantly for every citizen is the right to live and work anywhere in the EU, and to be assured the same fundamental rights everywhere. I don't understand why the UK still refuses to collaborate with other EU members in matters of justice, international arrest warrants, border controls, and so on.

    Cameron made it clear that he wants to further Britain's opt-outs in matters of social laws and justice. Concretely this means than if a British citizen gets cheated by a company in another EU country (e.g. during an Internet shopping transaction) or is mugged in Paris, it will be much harder for them to seek justice than for other EU citizens in the same situation.

    As for the social laws, it means that if a Briton in his fifties wants to move to the south of France or Spain, set up a B&B or a small vineyard there for 10 years, then retire, he will have a tougher time getting his pension there. EU-wide social laws make it easier to get medical care and pensions throughout the EU, just like a US citizen could work in New York then retire in Florida. The Tories don't want that. British citizens should stay in Blighty or lose their hard-earned social benefits. It's not a long step from trying to prevent your own citizens from emigrating - just like Cuba or the USSR attempted to do. But face it, if too many old and rich Britons move abroad for their retirement in spite of the ideal British climate, the public coffers will suffer. If you want to be patriotic you should vote Cameron and prohibit all Britons with money from leaving the country (the poor can go though).

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    That's some shaky looking propaganda there, Mac!

    To suggest that the EU can justify its existence in terms of law and social justice, and an international role, is somewhat undermined by the significant mainstream homophobia and racism which exists freely in parts of the Eastern European member states, and when in spite of having a comparable GDP the the USA the EU gives a negligible amount in overseas aid. So, all that remains is the smoothing-over over internal trade - the market.
    I'm all in favour of such a thing, as it seems to be the only part agreed upon as beneficial, but I hardly think it is necessary to elect a president and a parliament in order to oversee the smoothing over of these trade agreements. It costs a lot, and could be adequately handled by a body designed merely to bring together the Trade and Industry Ministries of member states.
    A flag, an anthem? Amusing, but very silly and utterly superfluous. As is joining a group of states with generally inferior regulations in order to improve our own. Quite simply absurd.

    The great majority of what the EU is assuming responsibility for is quite unnecessary and generally undesirable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Invictus_88 View Post
    To suggest that the EU can justify its existence in terms of law and social justice, and an international role, is somewhat undermined by the significant mainstream homophobia and racism which exists freely in parts of the Eastern European member states, and when in spite of having a comparable GDP the the USA the EU gives a negligible amount in overseas aid.
    Are you kidding ? The EU is the biggest contributor of overseas aid in the world. Just three EU countries together, Germany, France and the UK, spend more on foreign aid than the USA. More than half the money spent to help poor countries comes from the European Union.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Are you kidding ? The EU is the biggest contributor of overseas aid in the world. Just three EU countries together, Germany, France and the UK, spend more on foreign aid than the USA. More than half the money spent to help poor countries comes from the European Union.
    Interesting. Source?

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    "More than half the money spent to help poor countries comes from the European Union and its member states, making it the world's biggest aid donor."

    S:http://europa.eu/pol/dev/index_en.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Invictus_88 View Post
    Interesting. Source?
    AidData

    EuropeAid

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