Monday, October 03, 2005

Oh! The Turks!

Should Turkey be admitted to the EU? On balance, I would say yes. That is, to an EU based on a loose confederation of co-operating nations in a free trade environment. Not to a Leviathan EU super-state subject to the whims of French farmers. Or, indeed, the whims of Austria, who are the fiercest opponents of Turkish membership.

Hmmm. Austria. . .

Let’s quickly run through Austrian contributions to European prosperity shall we?

  • The Austro-Hungarian Empire
  • Prince Metternich
  • Adolf Hitler
  • "Rock Me Amadeus" by Falco*

That’s about it. Even the Swiss have given us more – and they’re not even in the EU.

More recently, Austria came first in the “Who can come closest to electing a neo-Nazi in a western European democracy?” competition. (In second place? France.) So I think we should treat the wishes of the good people of Austria with a certain amount of suspicion on this, and indeed, any subject.

It seems to me that in this age of terrifying ideological divide between Western and Eastern cultures, admitting the one predominantly Muslim nation that has a secular democracy, that could perhaps bridge the gap between Europe and the Middle East, would be a good idea. There are issues to be resolved first – Turkey has to make concessions on certain human rights clauses, for example – but nothing that cannot be bridged in the next ten years. Spain did it. So did Greece. So why not Turkey?

*Added, 04/10/05

15 comments:

ph said...

If we reject Turkey's admission to the E.U. then it would push Turkey even deeper into the Islamic world, which would be bad for us and them.

On the other hand Turkey's presence in the E.U. will cause problems, but this could be ameliaorated by reducing the influence of the E.U. across all of the E.U. states.

Citizen Sane said...

Agreed and agreed.

*pinches himself*

ph - do we, do we, actually AGREE on something?

ph said...

In this case, indeed we do. In fact we agree on many things, it is just that I only tend to comment upon the areas where we do not.

Citizen Sane said...

Ah, that would explain it.

ph said...

To be fair to the Austrians they have given us a few damn fine tunes (although not for a centuary or two)

I suppose they think what was all that 'Gates of Vienna' stuff for if we are going to invite the Turks in anyway.

Citizen Sane said...

Did they give us "Rock Me Amadeus" by Falco? Or was he German?

Citizen Sane said...

Falco was Austrian! Rejoice!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_Me_Amadeus

ph said...

I was rather thinking of

Mahler
Schubert
The Strausses
Mozart
Haydn

I cannot help being elitist

Citizen Sane said...

Yeah, yeah, yeah. But come on - Falco. Europoptastic.

ph said...

I am not sure that I am conversant with the late Mr Falco's canon of work, does he perform within a 3-piece beat combo? Was he as talented as Sinita? - probably not in all aspects.

David Essex is a sex case said...

What about Vienna by Ultravox? I know Ultravox are not Austrian but Vienna is. Brilliant tune but never made No 1 in the pop charts you know.
Do I win a prize?

Citizen Sane said...

This means nothing to me. . .

Good example though. Prize? Yes, you win a tin of pilchards!

Thought of another one: Arnold Shwarzenegger.

And that smoked cheese that looks like a little sausage.

tafka PP said...

I am appalled that you have omitted The Sound of Music. Filmed in Austria. About Austrians. Few will remember "Rock Me Amadeus" over the mighty "Edelweiss".

Citizen Sane said...

Of course! How could I forget?

I've been doing some research. They also gave us Sigmund Freud, Karl Popper, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Friedrich Hayek.

But for my money, Falco (RIP) is still their finest export.

ph said...

The Harry Lyme theme (3rd Man) has got to be Austria's greatest piece of music, even thought I doubt it has much to do with Austria at all.