EU Leaders Balk at Bush’s New Flight Plan
Posted on Feb 11, 2008
The skies won’t seem so friendly to Europeans looking to travel to the U.S. soon if President Bush’s list of new security demands is implemented despite the resistance and outrage it has sparked among EU officials, whose countrymen will encounter additional headaches if their leaders don’t get with Bush’s program.
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.