back to article UK, Germans, Dutch slam EC Galileo plan

The long-delayed European sat nav project Galileo was plunged into fresh controversy last night, as a plan by Brussels officials to solve funding problems met political opposition. Galileo has been bogged down for some time now due to lack of funds for its construction. Originally this cash was to have been supplied by industry …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    " ... United States (of America)"

    As opposed to which other United States with a GPS satellite system?

  2. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Simple Immediate Solutions?

    ESA sounds like a right Place/Space to move "the cash mostly from "unspent" farm subsidies already budgeted for." into.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let's hope for an early end to Galileo

    Without Galileo ( not the Astronomer ) the plans for satnav based road pricing will be unimplementable. GPS being far too erratic for this purpose

  4. Rich Bryant


    Largely unspent in the UK because whatever the Ministry of Agriculture is calling this week, back when Margaret "Rosa Klebbs" Becket was in charge, decided to spend an awful amount of money and time implementing a super-groovy IT project to manage the new Single Farm Payments.

    Consultants included EDS and Accenture, naturally. The project was never fully delivered. The UK's farmers thus went unpaid (through foot and mouth and various other evils) while out European "partners" gaily collected the dosh and undercut us still further, which helped out the state of British farming no end as I'm sure you can imagine.

    The head of the project was unceremoniously sacked, but not before collecting a payoff worth several thousand of the still-unpaid Single Farm Payment and getting another job with Accenture.

    Your taxes at work, folks.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    EC should lead it

    My vote is for the EC to lead it. ESA knows how to launch rockets, but this is a political and funding issue, not a technical one.

    For all the talk, UK Holland and Germany didn't get their funding act together but the EC did. They know how to whine and gripe and moan but Eurofighter project shows they collectively can't run a piss up in a brewery.

  6. Luther Blissett

    Another funding solution option

    As the Israelis have a stake in this, someone ought to have a quiet word with Mr Olmert, who could then have a security trip to Washington, Fed prints up the money, and bingo! problem's solved.

  7. Graham Dawson

    re: EC should lead it

    "They know how to whine and gripe and moan but Eurofighter project shows they collectively can't run a piss up in a brewery."

    Yes, and the difference between the EC/EU/whatever it is this week and those three is...?

    You forget that the EU is, collectively, made up of the same people that couldn't get Eurofighter completed on time. How anyone can believe that a bunch of retards suddenly turn into geniuses because they adopt a collective name is beyond me...

  8. Robert Fleming

    Re: " ... United States (of America)"

    Mexico is officially "Estados Unidos Mexicanos." I remember hearing there was some south-of-the-border resentment at the common assumption that the U.S.A. is the only group of united states in all of the Americas. Surely that's what motivated Mr. Page's specificity.

  9. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Re: "... United States (of America)

    I took this to be a snipe at the Brussels attitude that they are the United States of Europe and are just waiting until public opinion makes it safe for them to "come out" and say so openly.

    Nice to learn about Mexico, though. El Reg may be crap for all things IT-related, but it's great for trivia about almost everything else, and more reliable than wikipedia, obviously.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    By EC I mean European Commission

    "You forget that the EU is, collectively, made up of the same people that couldn't get Eurofighter completed on time"

    No Eurofighter was one of these 'side' projects done by 4 nations. There's a lot of these side projects. Whenever a nation wants to fund but doesn't like EU another one of these things gets created, ESA, EU Patent office,... etc. are all done under European agreement but outside the EU Treaty of Rome.

    Fragmented drivel done to appease special interests.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Rich Bryant

    You forgot to mention that the utterly useless but thoroughly sycophantic Margaret Beckett, who oversaw all this, went on to be *promoted* to Foreign Secretary. Probably the most incompetant such posting since Hitler appointed von Ribbentrop. Still, with her brief international exposure the rest of Europe got a first-hand insight into exactly why Britain made such a complete pig's ear of what was supposed to be a very simple process.


  12. Graham Dawson

    RE: By EC I mean European Commission

    Uh-huh... ESA was started before the EU existed, though if and when the new constitution gets passed trhough it'll be part of the EU hierarchy. The EU patent office was created as a special case by agreement of the 'core' EU nations in order to implement part of the constitutional treaty before it was ratified. You'll find a lot or these 'independent' organisations created outside the provisions of the treaty of rome are actually part of the constitutional... sorry, 'reform' treaty, and that they're being implemented through the European Councils on the sly, and in something of a rush, in order to get as much of the infrastructure of the new reform treaty in place as possible. They don't have an official identity but that doesn't matter; they're laying the groundwork for when they do. The EU defence agency is another example - it was part of the constitution, but since the constitution was not ratified it had to be created outside the aegis of the comission and consequently acts as an NGO. I can probably find a dozen other non-governmental agencies that are not officially part of the EU yet, but which were created as a response to the failure to ratify the constitutional treaty.

    Eurofighter was an EEC inspired project (back when the EU was the EEC, that is), and was one of several projects designed to provide a common European defence identity even back then. There are others that have failed miserably; the single european frigate, the tank, FRES (still failing but not given up yet because it forms the core of the EU rapid reaction force), various munitions, such as the Meteor, which was meant to equip the Eurofighter but which is going to be many years later, and Storm Shadow, which was a european vanity project to create a "superior" cruise missile. I think that one's been cancelled now. These projects are not, as you have tried to characterise, outside the EU but are integral to the idea of ever closer union that is presented in every single treaty since the formation of the coal and steel union.

    And I shall say it again; the same people who organised those are organising things at the european level. Just adding the commission doesn't change anything since the organisations - the people - that carry out these things are the same, and they're a bunch of incompetent morons no matter which name they use.

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