New European Order

The pending membership of Sweden, Finland, and Austria in the European Union is bad news for smaller countries such as Portugal, Greece, and Ireland. These countries are now able to band together to block measures, gain exemptions from competition, and get aid. But with the increased votes of the new members, who are set to join Jan. 1, it will be harder for small groups to form veto blocs. The new system is likely to increase the clout of big pro-free-market countries such as Britain and Germany. The smaller countries are still battling for changes that would preserve their clout.

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