So here's the deal. You're in trouble now so we promise to lend you some moolah, but we've got these white elephants to flog so you got to agree to stump up the cash to buy them ASAP. OK? How much? Well how much did you want for aid? And.. get this. You aren't allowed to sell us anything that's cheaper than what we can buy from our mates.
No that's not a member of the Cosa Nostra offering services to some unfortunte who has come unstuck gambling on the ponies, its the EU setting its conditions for aid to Thailand for the Tsunami.
TSUNAMI-struck Thailand has been told by the European Commission that it must buy six A380 Airbus aircraft if it wants to escape the tariffs against its fishing industry.
While millions of Europeans are sending aid to Thailand to help its recovery, trade authorities in Brussels are demanding that Thai Airlines, its national carrier, pays £1.3 billion to buy its double-decker aircraft.
OK that's perhaps a trifle unfair. Actually its the EU demonstrating its joined up government. At the same time as the left hand gives aid, the right hand slaps tariffs down and then insists that the Thais buy these white elephants wonderful Airbus A380s to have the tariffs raised.
There is a certain irony in that the prawn tariff is levied to protect Norwegian fish farmers. Norway it will be recalled is the land of the UNs Mr Stingy but is not in fact a member of the EU. I defy anyone to explain why the EU feels it should protect European non-EU fish farmers from competition from Asian non-EU fish farmers. I'm sure there is a reason other than racism but the only other theory I can come up with is that it is because of some other shifty backroom deal.
That just leaves the question of what the fisk the EU is doing extorting sales for a private company in this way in the first place?