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Do what I say, not... er... what I do.

Europe's not so wonderful example

What must a North African currently following news from the “European community of shared values” be thinking? It’s not just that the community's support for the fight for freedom around the Mediterranean has been half-hearted. It’s that it is taking its own members’ violations of the values the community espouses rather calmly.

Published on 24 February 2011 at 17:05
Do what I say, not... er... what I do.

The European Union is of the view that the violence perpetrated by the Libyan security forces against demonstrators should stop and that the regime ought to engage in dialogue with the people. This is the line that EU foreign ministers laid down at the start of this week. Over the last few days the EU Commission has repeated it, and Europe’s chief diplomat Catherine Ashton declared it again in Cairo. Non-violence and dialogue – that’s all to the good.

No one wants to be the heckler in the crowd here. After all, everyone is all for stern action against child abuse and for more honesty in politics.

Wisdom means making an error just once. The European Union has no such wisdom. In Tunisia and Egypt the union placed its wagers on corrupt despots for far too long, and it will be pinned with that tail of the donkey for a long while to come.

**This content has been removed under request of the copyright owner.** Translated from the German by Anton Baer

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