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Do not read this blog post

At least, not all of it.

Just marvel at its inanity.

In a speech by commission president Barroso yesterday to an industry lobby crowd, there are 97 references to “we” (“we need,” “we must,” “we face” etc). It’s not entirely clear on whose behalf he is speaking. For the commission? For the EU institutions? For ‘us’ (heaven forfend)? It’s a rhetorical tick that betrays ambiguity.

And then, oh, and then there’s the litany of platitudes and clichés, a selection of which you’ll find below.

Please do not read them all. I developed repetitive strain injury and a number of psychological illnesses picking these out. I would not wish that upon you.

• easy solutions are not an option. We need a bold and comprehensive response

• new key levers for growth and competitiveness

• the needs and challenges

• sustainable growth and job creation

• driving the reform process

• maintain the momentum

• We will only go forward if we move together

• working hand in hand

• prepare this new ground for consensus

• we need to keep rigour in our public finances

• structural reforms for competitiveness

• let’s address these concerns in a systematic way

• this is also critical for confidence

• in very difficult times

• our efforts are starting to bear fruit

• great sacrifices in the short-term

• an orientation debate

• Completing the architecture

• to underpin future sustainable growth

• critically important for confidence

• should not now relax our efforts

• we need to build the necessary support for the reforms that are indispensable, politically and socially

• a clear commitment to the real economy

• I want to tell you very frankly

• industry plays such an important role in our Europe 2020 growth and jobs strategy

• welcome the input of the business community

• the leadership that you have been providing

• industry plays a major role in Europe

• we have to address in a more resolute way.

• We have a problem of transmission of the monitoring policies

• we have to address this

• Of course the stable solution for this can only come from the rebalancing of the economy, from the healthy reforms to be implemented.

• there will be no quick fixes

• Europe can ‘put its money where its mouth is’ and support its growth agenda with the investments needed to really kick-start that growth

• focus the available resources on where it really matters

• investments in research and development in particular are vital to guarantee and improve our industrial competitiveness.

• Another issue is the skills for growth

• Or better adapting our system of education to the real needs of our industry, addressing what it has now been recognised as the skills mismatch that exists in Europe.

• I was proud to present some policy orientations that I can say that were broadly approved

• there is much we can do if we act together as a Union

• This is about our competitiveness, about our energy security and sustainability, and about our credibility in facing the challenges.

• My message to the governments of Europe is therefore clear: we need to act boldly and consistently, implement the reforms we have signed up to, and target all available funds to make the necessary investments as much, as efficiently and a soon as possible, with a sense of urgency.

• Free and fair trade should be the name of the game

• we try to mainstream, to put this as a horizontal priority

• I really believe that there is no way back to “business as usual”

• We are in tremendous challenges in terms of global competition

• the reality is that we will not always take the practical consequences of this

• we are not in normal times. We are in fact in very transformational times

• the time to take decisions now.

• to find and consolidate a new consensus to avoid sterile debates

If you read this far, seek immediate medical attention.

BM

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