24th September 2008

They say that a new broom sweeps clean. It's that Nicolas Sarkozy again. He seems to be everywhere. He currently chairs the EU commission in Brussels and has presided over a brand-new innovation: the Blue Card. This will lure qualified workers to plug the EU skills gap. The visas, coloured blue to match the EU flag, are intended to rival the American Green Card by offering permanent residency anywhere in Europe after five years’ work. The card will be targeted at qualified migrants and Sarkozy believes that it will change the image of Europe as a destination mainly for unskilled immigrants. Migrants will also be allowed to move to any other EU country if they find a new job there after two years of residence in the sponsoring country. That won't please Britain's overcrowded island which likes to pick and choose which EU directives it wants to keep. Either it's a member of the EU or it isn't. But, the big problem with this Blue Card thing, as with the EU as a whole, is the multitude of languages. You've seen how me and him indoors have coped with dealing with a new language. I wish someone would wave a magic language wand over the EU and impose one language across all states, like in the US after the War of Independence. My late father used to say that German was very nearly chosen there as the common language! Perhaps one of my American readers can tell me whether that was actually the case, and how the new USA managed to get everyone speaking the same language all those years ago. I can't even get him indoors and me to speak the same language, never mind all the rest! Once I hear from you, I'll pop over to Nicolas's place and let him know.

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