- Dr Gulrez Sheikh
Prolonged negotiations on recovery plans worth €1.8 trillion ($2.06 trillion) and tense exchanges between the EU leaders in times when the Cold War has begun, and bloc must show unity, is like driving on a suicidal way.
Failure to reach a deal
could spark a negative financial markets response. Still, the delay is sending a positive message to Beijing to keep working on its 17+1 platform (made to divide the European Union & the NATO camp within the union into the prosperous north and poorer South).
Dissect the politico-economic & geopolitical situation of the countries of 17+1 platform & the China plot will come in front of your eyes.
The countries constituting the 17+1 platform are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia. Out of these 10 countries are a member of the 27 country European Union bloc. North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia are in a queue for their membership. Already Italy, which is not a part of 17+1, is heartbroken by the EU, vis a vis the EU’s conduct when Italy was in a deep COVID crisis.
The rifts are over the size of the recovery plan and how much of it would be made up of grants.
There are major differences between Netherlands (a major net payer into the EU coffers) & Italy
over the execution of the economic reforms agenda, to the level that the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte quoted for Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte “You might be a hero in your homeland for a few days, but after a few weeks you will be held responsible before all European citizens for blocking an adequate response”.
Finally, the EU will reach a deal, for sure, but in short and long, the message they are sending towards the east is not right. It’s high time for Trump administration to take the driving seat, to save the EU driving on the suicidal way. And the deal, the EU leaders reach, must not be “A day late and a dollar short”.