While the republic is in uproar over his demands that budgets be slashed, the President has just taken delivery of a personal jet costing a quarter of a billion Australian dollars.That is what presidents do when they feel “humiliated”. Apparently this is how M Sarkozy feels when he sees Air Force One, the US President’s Boeing 747 which is usually accompanied or preceded by at least another Boeing.

Apparently he will feel better at the G20 summit in Korea in November.  The Canadian and Australian prime ministers, will be there too. Coming from constitutional monarchies,  and not being republican heads of state, they will feel no need to have such republican luxury. 

According to The Times (30/12), there is a suite on the A330 Airbus jokingly referred to as Air Sarko One with a double bedroom for M Sarkozy and Carla Bruni,  a 12-person conference room, seats for 60, encrypted communications and a missile defence system.

 Officials deny it has a bath, pizza oven or cigar-smoking room but no one has been able to check because the aircraft is a state secret.

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…avoiding referendums in the EU…  (continued)

 

In the meantime, the British Prime Minister David Cameron failed to win support for a European Union budget freeze, but  claims to have achieved a "spectacular success" over European spending, despite accepting that Britain would have to hand over £430m (A$ 730 million) more to Brussels next year, representing a 2.9% increase.

The Times (30/12) reports that he is resisting calls from the European Parliament to increase the budget by 6%.The German Chancellor Frau Merkel demands amendments to the Treaty of Lisbon. Advice is being sought as to how to achieve this without any referendums.

Mr.Cameron would be well advised to concentrate on the Commonwealth. It costs little, and they do not push members around. The UK could have all of the advantages of the EU with just a free trade agreement.  

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