O Intermitente<br> (So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

O Intermitente
(So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

sexta-feira, junho 25, 2004

O Euro e a UE

Artigo na Reason.

As Europe more formally unifies, soccer has remained a splendid bastion of differentiation, although the regulations governing the sport and its transactions are increasingly falling under the purview of Brussels. Discounting the thugs who use stadium terraces as battlegrounds, the sport has mostly thrown up a laudable wall of contrarian divisiveness against EU-induced uniformity. Why is this important? Because it helps overcome the tyranny of consensus that in many respects Europe threatens to succumb to, as its bureaucrats legislate the continent's idiosyncrasies out of existence.

So, what is actually going on at the Euro 2004? More of the ancient rivalries that the barkers of European harmony would never quite be able to explain. Ask EU functionaries to enlighten you on the true meaning of the England-France rivalry, and they will mention Jacques Chirac's dislike for Tony Blair, or some quibble over agricultural subsidies. However, they will forget Agincourt or Waterloo, or other markers of mutual antipathy, leaving you unable to truly gauge the ecstasy felt by French fans when they defeated England in the last minute of their game on June 13.

Ask a Brussels denizen to deconstruct Italian suspicions before the match last Tuesday between Sweden and Denmark. The Italians feared that a high-scoring tie between the two teams would precipitate Italy's elimination from the competition, allowing the Scandinavians to march together to the quarterfinals. Warning against potential Nordic collusion, Italy's captain, Fabio Cannavaro was tart: "From all those people from the north who gave us lectures on civilized behavior after [Italian player Francesco] Totti's spitting [at a Danish opponent], I am anticipating a great lesson in fair play."

In the end, Italy lost, though the Swedes and the Danes visibly did not doctor their result. But the true loser was the EU, which has no vocabulary to portray so evidently inane a concept as "Scandinavian perfidy" and must have squirmed upon hearing Cannavaro mention "those from the north", as if describing space invaders. How, the EU suits surely muttered, could a mere central defender so boorishly miss the purpose of a united Europe by presuming antagonistic geographical blocs?

posted by Miguel Noronha 11:53 da manhã

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"A society that does not recognize that each individual has values of his own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of the individual and cannot really know freedom."

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