Saturday, January 12, 2008

Necessary but not sufficient

AFP/Martin Bureau

There's been speculation in Ireland that Taoiseach Bertie Ahern might be up for the new job of president of the European Union Council, a job that will be created by the constitution treaty reform treaty. The source of the speculation seems to be Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, despite the fact that with his rate of salary increases, that job might involve a pay cut.

But anyway, Nicolas Sarkozy seems to have put an end to any such ambition when it seemed ever clearer that he and Tony Blair have cooked up a scheme to put Blair in the job, with Blair's speech to Sarko's UMP party today looking like the launch of the bid. Sarko explicitly ruled out "lowest common denominator" candidates for the position, which seems to have been Bertie's strategy.

Yet there is one irony with Bertie on the outside looking in as the job is allocated. It will only exist if he successfully shepherds the treaty through a referendum later this year. Hopefully his heart is still in it.

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