Published  16/10/2006
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Redrawing Europa



It wasn't long before the EU's new directive allowing Brussels to amend national boundaries, inspired by technocrats in Berlin, was to bear fruit here. There is a new TransManche region, conjoining Kent, East Sussex and a large chunk of Northern France, much as these areas were joined up before the Channel split them. North of this is the 'North-East' region, which brings the population of north-west Scotland together with part of northern Norway, Sweden and north-eastern Finland. Then, if that were not all, eastern England, eastern Scotland, Denmark and southern Norway find themselves hitched together. The motive of the Eurocrats is clearly to divide and rule. Finally, there is a clear comfort zone, of gastronomic delight, including Portugal, western France, south-west England and Ireland. (So defying the old adage that 'Celts can't cater'). The ramifications of all this for the arts bureaucracies seem awesome, but at least real creative artists will be able to pursue their interests possibly with less interference, and of course there will be more artfests generated. The only problem, of course, is that Norway is not in the EU, and shows no wish to coalesce in the future. The north Atlantic region includes Iceland, north-west Scotland, northern Norway, northern Sweden and eastern Finland. Southern Finland is being linked with the Baltic states. It all makes for an interesting parlour game.

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