Does it make you wonder what the U.S. might have looked like if Sarah Palin was elected in 2008? Well, here's a snapshot of a similar experiment currently ongoing in Europe: behold the European Titan of Thought, the (one of the numerous) President of Europe, Jean-Claude Juncker and his latest escapade http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11583755/Anglo-Saxon-world-would-rip-apart-Europe-after-a-Grexit-says-Juncker.html.
This is the best that Europe can do in making high level appointments. And it is out there, on par with Palin.
So here are some choice moments from Mr Juncker-Palin lengthy career as Europparatchik...
- On the 2005 French referendum on the Lisbon Treaty: "If it's a Yes, we will say 'on we go', and if it's a No we will say 'we continue'."
- On the Lisbon Treaty, 23 June 2007: "The constitutional treaty was an easily understandable treaty. This is a simplified treaty which is very complicated."
- On the Lisbon Treaty, 2 July 2007: "Britain is different. Of course there will be transfers of sovereignty. But would I be intelligent to draw the attention of public opinion to this fact?"
- On 20 April 2011: "Monetary policy is a serious issue. We should discuss this in secret, in the Eurogroup [...] I'm ready to be insulted as being insufficiently democratic, but I want to be serious [...] I am for secret, dark debates."
- Referring to his work in the European Council in 2012: "We decide on something, leave it lying around and wait and see what happens. If no one kicks up a fuss, because most people don't understand what has been decided, we continue step by step until there is no turning back."
- On Greek crisis, 2011: "When it becomes serious, you have to lie."
- To George W. Bush, June 20 2005: "I was going to say he's a piece of work, but that might not translate too well. Is that all right, if I call you a 'piece of work'?"
- As PM of Luxleaks: "We do not attract Russian money to Luxembourg with high interest rates."
- Ibid: "The Luxembourg financial centre is based on several pillars, we are characterised by the breadth of our product range, we are an active participant in the international credit business."
- "I am not a dwarf."
- "God understands more about the financial markets than many who write about them."
- "...we must be careful that we do not blow up the global financial system by insisting on regulatory principles."
- Answering the question: :what happens if we're sitting here again next year and conclude that Greece is still not on a stabilization course?", Juncker produced the following: "If the donkey were a cat it could climb a tree. But it is not a cat. Nevertheless, this is a question that worries many people. My answer to it is almost a little theological: I do not believe that this question will ever be asked."
- "We must go back to teach Europeans to love Europe."
- "I believe neither the French nor the Dutch really rejected the constitutional treaty."
- "Now is the time to give a message of hope to the Greek people, not only implement, implement, implement and obligations, obligations, obligations, the message that the European institutions will give help and solidarity with particular rates, in order to over come this very bad situation at the social level."
- "One should stop - especially Britain, which was always for expansion of the European Union - discriminating against countries only because it comes across well in the current context if you beat up on others, i am strictly against that one should - and this is the key point - act as if all Poles, all Romanians, all Bulgarians who are on the European labor market are doing this out of a basically criminal disposition. These are people who are working to get paid." [It is worth remembering that the UK was one of just 3 countries in the EU that opened its labour market to the Accession States]
- On Greek bailout negotiations currently underway: "I am working together with Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem to achieve an extension of the existing program, in order to bridge the time until summer."
- "Britain is different. Of course there will be transfers of sovereignty. But would I be intelligent to draw the attention of public opinion to this fact?"
All of which provides a decent comic relief across the Atlantic, and a dose of tears here, in Europe, where taxpayers are paying for this 'leadership' through the nose.
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