I just got this from my mother.....
Monday February 11 2008
Bush orders clampdown on flights to US:
EU officials furious as Washington says it wants extra data on all air passengers
The US administration is pressing the 27 governments of the European Union to sign up for a range of new security measures for transatlantic travel, including allowing armed guards on all flights from Europe to America by US airlines.
The demand to put armed air marshals on to the flights is part of a travel clampdown by the Bush administration that officials in Brussels described as "blackmail" and "troublesome", and could see west Europeans and Britons required to have US visas if their governments balk at Washington's requirements.
According to a US document being circulated for signature in European capitals, EU states would also need to supply personal data on all air passengers overflying but not landing in the US in order to gain or retain visa-free travel to America, senior EU officials said.
And within months the US department of homeland security is to impose a new permit system for Europeans flying to the US, compelling all travellers to apply online for permission to enter the country before booking or buying a ticket, a procedure that will take several days.
The data from the US's new electronic transport authorisation system is to be combined with extensive personal passenger details already being provided by EU countries to the US for the "profiling" of potential terrorists and assessment of other security risks.(click here to read the rest)
At first glance, the article struck me as a bit alarmist, but it appears to be true. Here is another report from The Daily Mail.
Apparently, Brussels is urging the EU states to stand together and bargain collectively but the Czech Republic seems be scrambling to sign it, with Greece next in line...Now I'm not holding out much hope that Slovenia will be some kind of maverick and stand up and say no, but I hope that -- as the current president of the EU--they might at least be swayed to toe the party line....We'll see.