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France Loses Patience..

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Emptychair threat

He told the Journal du Dimanche that while it was the job of the European Commission to handle trade negotiations, it was down to EU leaders to demand reciprocity from countries who only award public tenders to national companies.

"All the public markets on our continent have been open since 1994. In Japan the only open market is water. In China � no public market is open," he said.

At last. And it took a French politican to make waves on this..

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The "all the public markets on our continent have been open since 1994" claim is questionable at best.

This progamme is worth a listen (and remarkably for something made by the BBC, not slavishly pro-EU).

Taking as its starting point the controversy caused by the contract to supply steel for the new Forth Bridge having gone to a German company, it explores how national and regional governments have found ways to circumvent EU open public markets legislation to, in effect, restrict the eligibility for tenders for public spending to local and national businesses. Examples given included a Welsh construction project in which impact on local employment was given 80% weighting in the assessment for tender briefs (in other words, overwhelming weight would be given to tenders that proposed to employ locals on the project), and the building of a town hall in Basque country in which significant tender weighting was given to "protection and promotion of the Basque language and dialect". This wasn't against the letter of the law - if a Czech or Italian company proposed to send their own compatriots in to build the place, all of whom spoke fluent Basque, they'd probably get the contract. But of course the chances of that happening are about as high as those of Dominique Strauss-Kahn signing a vow of chastity.

Edited by The Ayatollah Buggeri

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