Poland Should Learn From British Hostage Fiasco In Iran Masterpage
Warsaw, Poland March 29, 2007 The European Union response to Iran taking Europeans working under a U.N. mandate should show the Polish government that Poland cannot depend upon the European Union for any assistance if that assistance would be contrary to the interests of any of its members' government.
The British sailors taken hostage by Iran are Europeans. The British forces were operating as part of a multinational force under an explicit UN mandate, to protect oil installations and prevent the smuggling of guns into Iraq
And the European Union has largely abandoned them.
The current President of the European Union, Andrea Merkel, has been telling members of the European Union that the European Union should speak in one voice.
But now when it is time to speak with one voice, the European Union is silent.
The European Union could swiftly solve the hostage crisis.
The EU is by far Iran's biggest trading partner. More than 40% of its imports come from, and more than a quarter of its exports go to, the EU. Remarkably, this trade has grown strongly in the last years of looming crisis. Much of it is underpinned by export credit guarantees given by European governments, notably those of Germany, France and Italy. According to the most recent figures available from the German economics ministry, Iran is Germany's third-largest beneficiary of export credit guarantees, outdone only by Russia and China. Iran comes second to none in terms of the proportion of German exports - in recent years up to 65% - underwritten by the German government. See European Union: will you put your money where your mouth is?
It would be a simple matter of Andrea Merkel to tell the Iranian Government, on behalf of the European Union, that the citizens blatantly taken as hostages in Iraqi waters should be freed or Germany, as a member of the European Union, speaking with one voice for its members, would halt export guarantees.
But that would have adverse consequences for German business interests. And because of that it is likely that the European Union will not speak with one voice and leave its European citizens and the United Kingdom, a fellow member of the unit European Union, to their own devices.
Andrea Merkel by not stepping forward to help the people taken hostage has confirmed that the European Union is little more than a weak trading community and that the members of the European Union will follow their own business interests and disregard others around them should they need help.
Poland should prepare to care for itself and not depend on the Europe Union. The European Union is all talk and side deals. It is weak and will run for help but won't give any.