European Union wins Nobel Peace Prize

BIV

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OSLO (Reuters) - The European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for promoting peace, democracy and human rights over six decades in an award seen as a morale boost as the bloc struggles to resolve its economic crisis.
The award served as a reminder that the EU had largely brought peace to a continent which tore itself apart in two world wars in which tens of millions died.
The EU has transformed most of Europe "from a continent of wars to a continent of peace," Nobel Committee Chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said in announcing the award in Oslo.
"The EU is currently undergoing grave economic difficulties and considerable social unrest," Jagland said. "The Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to focus on what it sees as the EU's most important result: the successful struggle for peace and reconciliation and for democracy and human rights."
Jagland praised the EU for rebuilding Europe from the devastation of World War Two and for its role in spreading stability after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
While welcomed by European leaders, the award will have little practical effect on the debt crisis afflicting the single currency zone, which has brought economic instability and social unrest to several states with rioting in Athens and Madrid.
On the streets of the Greek capital, where demonstrators have burned Nazi flags to protest against German demands for austerity, the award was greeted with disbelief.
"Is this a joke?" asked Chrisoula Panagiotidi, 36, a beautician who lost her job three days ago. "It's the last thing I would expect. It mocks us and what we are going through right now. All it will do is infuriate people here."
The prize, worth $1.2 million, will be presented in Oslo on December 10. It was not immediately clear who from the EU would be there to collect the cheque and what it would be spent on.
CONCEIVED IN SECRET
Conceived in secret at a chateau near Brussels, what is now the European Union was created by the 1957 Treaty of Rome, signed with great fanfare in the Italian capital's 15th century Palazzo dei Conservatori.
The six-state 'common market' it founded grew into the 27-nation European Union ranging from Ireland's Atlantic shores to the borders of Russia.
At the time the Cold War was in full swing after Soviet tanks put down an anti-communist rebellion in Budapest. Western countries led by the United States had formed NATO and the Kremlin responded with the Warsaw Pact.
But the EU is now mired in crisis with enormous strains between capitals over the euro, the common currency shared by 17 nations and created to further economic and monetary union.
Politicians in Germany, one of the main forces behind the foundation of the EU, were delighted with the award.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Europe's most powerful leader, said it was a "wonderful decision". French President Francois Hollande, whose country has with Germany formed the EU's main axis of power, said it was an "immense honor".
Helmut Kohl, the chancellor who reunified Germany and pushed the country into the euro, said: "The Nobel Peace Prize for the EU is above all a confirmation of the European peace project,"
After centuries of war on the continent the EU has been at peace within its borders, but its effort to stop war in former Yugoslavia -- an initiative hailed by one minister as "the hour of Europe" -- was a failure.
The British government, less committed to the European ideal than other EU members, made no comment on the prize. Ed Balls, a senior member of the opposition Labour Party, remarked sarcastically: "They'll be cheering in Athens tonight, won't they?"
Nigel Farage, leader of Britain's fiercely eurosceptic UKIP party, added: "This goes to show that the Norwegians really do have a sense of humor."
"I FIND THIS ABSURD"
In Madrid, Francisco Gonzalez expressed bafflement. "I don't see the logic in the EU getting this prize right now. They can't even agree among themselves," the 62-year-old businessman said.
In Berlin, public relations worker Astrid Meinicke, 46, was also skeptical. "I find it curious. I think the EU could have engaged itself a bit better, especially in Syria," she said, near the city's historic Brandenburg Gate.
In the home of the peace prize, many Norwegians are bitterly opposed to the EU, seeing it as a threat to the sovereignty of nation states. "I find this absurd," the leader of Norway's anti-EU membership organization Heming Olaussen told state broadcaster NRK.
Norway has twice voted "no" to joining the EU, in 1972 and 1994. The country has prospered outside the bloc, partly thanks to huge oil and gas resources.
Among those tipped to win was Russia's small Ekho Moskvy radio, a frequent critic of the Kremlin. Editor in chief Alexei Venediktov conceded the prize to a worthy winner.
"We are only 115. They are 500 million. It is an honor (to lose to the EU)," he told Reuters.
(Reporting by Alister Doyle, Terje Solsvik and Reuters European bureaux; Writing by Giles Elgood; editing by Philippa Fletcher)
http://news.yahoo.com/nobel-peace-prize-could-dissidents-eu-religious-leaders-000634747.html
 

Neon

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in an award seen as a morale boost as the bloc struggles to resolve its economic crisis.
"Hey Stavros, I know you've been out of work for 18 months, and your sick mother has to make her own Tzatziki because you can't afford the store brand, but look on the bright side - at least the EU got the Nobel Peace Prize! Our entire continent is now $1.2 million richer! Your troubles are over!"
 

BIV

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EU detractors slam Nobel Peace Prize decision

By JILL LAWLESS | Associated Press – 43 mins ago

Enlarge PhotoAssociated Press/ Nikolas Giakoumidis, File - FILE - Demonstrators burn an EU flag in this file photo dated Thursday Nov. 17, 2011, in Thessaloniki, Greece. It is announced Friday Oct. 12, 2012, that the European …more

LONDON (AP) — While some Europeans swelled with pride when the European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize, howls of derision erupted from the continent's large band of skeptics.
To many in the 27-nation bloc, the EU is an unwieldy and unloved agglomeration overseen by a top-heavy bureaucracy devoted to creating arcane regulations about everything from cheese to fishing quotas. Set up with noble goals after the devastation of World War II, the EU now appears to critics impotent amid a debt crisis that has widened north-south divisions, threatened the euro currency and plunged several members, from Greece to Ireland to Spain, into economic turmoil.

WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?
The vocal anti-EU politicians known as euroskeptics burst into a chorus of disdain.
"First Al Gore, then Obama, now this. Parody is redundant," tweeted Daniel Hannan, a euroskeptic European lawmaker — yes, such things exist — from Britain's Conservative Party. President Barack Obama won the peace prize in 2009, less than a year after he was elected, while Gore, a former U.S. vice president, was the 2007 recipient for his campaign against climate change.
Nigel Farage, head of the U.K. Independence Party — which wants Britain to withdraw from the union — called the peace prize "an absolute disgrace."
"Haven't they had their eyes open?" he said, arguing that Europe was facing "increasing violence and division," with mass protests from Madrid to Athens over tax hikes and job cuts and growing resentment of Germany, the union's rich and powerful economic anchor.
And Dutch populist lawmaker Geert Wilders scoffed: "Nobel prize for the EU. At a time (when) Brussels and all of Europe is collapsing in misery. What next?"

THE SOUND OF ONE HAND CLAPPING
Britain, which has been an EU member since the 1970s but likes to keep an English Channel-wide distance between itself and the union, gave a muted reaction. Prime Minister David Cameron's office had no comment — a safe policy for the leader of a Conservative Party deeply divided between pro- and anti-EU camps.
The Foreign Office noted, tersely, that the award "recognizes the EU's historic role in promoting peace and reconciliation in Europe, particularly through its enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe. The EU must always strive to preserve and strengthen those achievements."
Conservative lawmaker and former foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind, whose party is deeply divided on Britain's role in the EU, probably spoke for many Britons when he called the decision slightly eccentric.
"If they want to give the prize for preserving the peace in Europe, they should divide it between NATO and the EU," he said. "Until the end of the Cold War, it was NATO more than anyone else that kept the peace."
Others praised the union's role in reuniting post-Communist Europe but pointed out its greatest failure — the inability to halt the bloody Balkan wars that raged just outside the EU's borders during the 1990s.

WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME?
Some Europeans wondered whether all of the EU's 500 million residents could claim a share of the glory — and the $1.2 million prize money.
"I've just won the Nobel Peace Prize? How exciting," tweeted CNN's British talk show host Piers Morgan.
"As a member of the EU, I am delighted to accept the Nobel Peace Prize," joked British playwright Dan Rebellato on Twitter. "I shall keep it in the spare room, in case people want to look at it."
BBC business correspondent Robert Peston wondered whether everyone in the EU would get a share of the prize money, which works out to about a quarter of a cent per person.
"What will you spend yours on?" he asked followers on Twitter.
http://news.yahoo.com/eu-detractors-slam-nobel-peace-prize-decision-140022133.html
 

Norm Stansfield

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I actually agree that the EU has been a force for peace. At least the old version of it, back when it was a free trade zone instead of a centrally planned mess.

But I somehow doubt that's the reason why the Nobel committee thought they should get a pat on the back.
 

KRSOne

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Its an Orwellian prize, they gave it to UN peace keepers one year and if you have UN peace keepers in your country, you are in trouble. UN Peacekeepers do nothing but **** and kill the people in the name of peace. Obama won it while sending 40 thousand troops into Afghanistan and now he has the US in more wars than Bush. Its a 100% political thing.
 

NuttyJim

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next year it should go to the Sun with this guy coming in 2nd.

 

Hudson

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"Hey Stavros, I know you've been out of work for 18 months, and your sick mother has to make her own Tzatziki because you can't afford the store brand, but look on the bright side - at least the EU got the Nobel Peace Prize! Our entire continent is now $1.2 million richer! Your troubles are over!"
That's like telling an italian that Ragu is better than homemade, or Mrs T's perogies, for that matter.
 

NuttyJim

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That's like telling an italian that Ragu is better than homemade, or Mrs T's perogies, for that matter.


This guy approves. All he got was egg noodles and ketchup.
 

Neon

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That's like telling an italian that Ragu is better than homemade, or Mrs T's perogies, for that matter.
The point was that the mother had to make it herself even though she was sick.
 

Lord Zero

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This reminds me, I have to nominate myself for the Congressional Medal of Freedom.
 

Hudson

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The point was that the mother had to make it herself even though she was sick.
like that would stop them. My Ex girlfriend's of boat Italian grandmother had a heart attack less than a week before X-Mas and insisted on overseeing the 12 fishes prep and cooking.
 

the Streif

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This reminds me, I have to nominate myself for the Congressional Medal of Freedom.
I hereby declare, that the award for Most Awesomenest and Greatest Nation goes to.......(drum roll please)............. The United States of America!!! 'Merica, Fuck Yeah!!!