Part of our common European cultural heritage is The Comedy of Errors, by the great William Shakespeare. Then we have a comedy of errors, by and for us lesser mortals, ?a dramatic work in which the action usually features a series of comic instances of mistaken identity? (sources: Wikipedia).
We are firmly in the lowlier category during pre-season build-up for the European Union?s first ?State of the Union? address, starring Commission president José Manuel Barroso this Tuesday morning in Strasbourg.
What?s in a name? that which we call a rose,
By any other name would smell as sweet;
(William Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene ii)
As we know, the two young lovers died, so perhaps a name is not as innocuous as they wanted to believe.
One to underline the symbolic value of a name is the president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, whose website announces his first State of the Union address:
At Bloggingportal we came up with the idea of having a laugh at the expense of our esteemed President, Jose Manuel Barroso with his ?State of the European Union? speech by playing bullshit bingo.
A far-right party in Austria has sparked outrage by launching an online video game which allows players to shoot down minarets and muezzins calling for prayer.
Last Friday, both in Belgium and the Netherlands the cabinet formation process has gone on the rocks. There was a time difference of just one hour. In Belgium, Wallonian Parti Socialist-politician Elio Di Rupo gave up his task of forming a Belgian cabinet at 17.00 p.m.; in the Netherlands it was Geert Wilders who at 18.00 p.m. unplugged the plug out of the government cooperation project with the conservative-liberal VVD and christian-democrat CDA. Both countries, which had their parliamentary elections almost three months ago, are now back to square one. The coalition game will start all over again. Be glad not to be in the shoes of the Dutch queen or the Belgian king!
Today the German government passed key measures in its austerity package first announced back in June. The stated aim is to ensure compliance with the bizarre new constitutional clause ? the so-called debt-brake ? requiring a balanced (structural) budget by 2016 at the latest and to get below the Maastricht 3% deficit limit by 2013. It is a sad day for the already disadvantaged in Germany and also for Europe.
The past week has been a total Blair-fest. The launch of Tony Blair?s memoirs, the carefully crafted and controlled TV interviews, and the even more planned book signing with resulting protests. It has all had a certain cinematic, star quality to it; like outtakes from Piers Brosnan in ?The Ghost?.
The Basque underground organisation Eta has declared a ceasefire in a video announcement. The move is meant to allow the Basques to hold a vote on their independence. But the press fears new attacks after a period of respite so long as the weakened terrorist organisation does not lay down its weapons.
The German government decided on Monday to extend the running times of the country’s 17 nuclear power plants by around twelve years. While some commentators praise the move as economically and ecologically sound, others label it backward-looking clientelism.