Final Word from Wednesday, December 18, 2002





The International Herald Tribune ran a shocking report yesterday: The European Union will pay only E10bn to take in 10 new members, including the CR. The press had until now reported a E40bn figure. An EU specialist said new members will not even qualify for all of the E10bn. What's perhaps more shocking is the gloating in Brussels. The head of the European Commission's budget office said enlargement "could hardly have been obtained at a more favorable price." The implication is that the EU has gotten access to 10 new markets, plus increased political power, for next to nothing. The Czech media haven't picked up the IHT story yet, but this will no doubt serve as additional ammunition for those who still haven't come to terms with EU accession. The IHT quoted an EU specialist as saying, "These numbers are really going to scare people in Eastern Europe."

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