Picture credit: Carmarthen Journal
Maybe I’m going out on a limb here, but this latest tranche of European financial aid for Wales, to the tune of £2bn, makes me feel a little bit sad.
Back in 2000 there was some excitement when we, as a country, qualified for Objective One funding. Make the most of it, we were told, once it’s gone, it’s gone and that’ll be that.
Except it wasn’t.
This is the third lot of European aid coming our way. Not that I’m ungrateful. Of course I’m not, but shouldn’t the Welsh economy have seen the benefits of the previous input by now? According to local newspaper, the Carmarthen Journal, “The money is given to areas where the value of what is produced is three-quarters or less of the EU average.” (Read more: http://www.carmarthenjournal.co.uk/Wales-receive-2bn-European-aid/story-23773788-detail/story.html#ixzz3Hiwo4bvk)
In other words, we are still one of the poorest nations in Europe, despite all the funding that has come our way. Why?
Generally speaking, I’m proud to be Welsh. Right now, not so much. Surely it’s time we take some responsibility for our own level of prosperity in this country instead of repeatedly taking the Welsh begging cap to Europe?