Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.
Display:
Breaking news:

During his entire career as PM, Swedish former PM Göran Persson (1996-2007) was regularly interviewed by the journalist Eric Fichtelius, who has made it all into a 4 hour documentary. Persson is extremely frank as the show was promised to be aired only after his retirement as PM.

The first part of four was aired tonight and I just watched it. The funniest thing from a European presepective is what he says about the day when the EMU treaty was signed.

Everyone was worried as Kohl, Chirac, Blair and Duisenberg where gone. So everyone figured they were up to something. Suddenly, Kohl storms in looking totally crushed and pissed off. He is black around the eyes and sits down with Persson and some more people, starting to moan about being tricked by Chirac and Blair, and that he gave them too much, and that his entire next election is spoilt. His translator sobs while she translates.

Suddenly Kohl orders in a saucer. He takes at least ten of those tiny enclosed butter boxes and empty all of them on the saucer. And then he eats all the butter, extremely fast. And then he orders in another saucer of butter. While he eats it he relaxes and seems to resign himself with his fate.

I am looking forward to the bext episode where they'll cover Perssons visit to North Korea! :D

Other interesting if more domestic things: calls former rightwing PM and current foreign minister "such a fucking idiot" and says that new socialist chairman Mona Sahlin's "greatest strength is not thinking". Also covered how he repeatadly pisses off his minister of social affairs and later EU commisioner, Margot Wallström.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Mon Mar 19th, 2007 at 03:23:38 PM EST
Can be seen online here or (probably) in more agreeable format pretty soon on The Pirate Bay.

The EMU part starts about 47 minutes in. It is mostly Persson telling his version in Swedish so it is an excellent opportunity to practise language skills.

I did not see the whole thing yet, but in addition to what he calls other he also at one time calls himself "so bloody disgusting" and that he needs to loose 15 kilograms, so he is rather frank with the way he sees things.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Mar 19th, 2007 at 03:45:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm watching it again now, and I forgot that when Kohl stormed in he screams (in German I guess): "Here you see the monkey Europe! I don't want to be the monkey of Europe whom everyone laughs at!"

And then he proceeds to eat butter, copious amounts.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Mon Mar 19th, 2007 at 04:01:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suddenly like Persson alot more :) Good to hear that I am not alone in my views on your "good" foreign minister.
by Trond Ove on Mon Mar 19th, 2007 at 07:43:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is so funny! I transcribed and translated the EMU, Kohl, butter bit for some friends:
Voice of Göran Person, former Swedish Prime minister:
"It was a great day. It was May the second 1998."
Narrator voiceover:
The german Mark will become the Euro. The leaders of the EU meet for their historical decision about the monetary union. But nothing is done until everything is done!
Göran Person, again:
We gathered, as one always does, before lunch. We were standing around talking, I think we were supposed to start at 1pm, with lunch, but it was getting late for that. It was under the British presidency, Blair was not seen, Kohl was not seen, Chirac and Jospin were not seen, Vim Cook was not seen. So one understood that something was going on, something was happening. Around 2pm, there is some noise, banging with doors, and then Kohl enters the room. And the good Kohl is completely, incredibly, upset. He is torn up. He is gesticulating, and he is black around the eyes. And when he enters the room, he yells: "Here you see the monkey in Europe! I don't want to be the monkey in Europe! The one that everyone laughs at!" It was the crisis around appointing this Duisenberg, as the new president of the Central European Bank, the French were blocking, but the Germans thought it would be worked out. And it was the Germans who would be in trouble if it didn't, because it was the Germans who had an election coming, and this is Kohl's project, it can't fail. So, Kohl is very upset when he enters. He sits down. And then he starts to, like,... eat... butter. And he eats copious quantities of butter. At first one saucer, and I think it was about 10 of those packaged butter pieces, 10g apiece which lie there, consumed quickly. And then he brings in another saucer, and also those are eaten. And then he starts to calm down. And we are still waiting for Blair, Jospin and Chirac, and Vim Cook. And then they too arrive. And some kind of deal has been made, the kind of deal in which Kohl has gone too far. He has agreed to a deal between France and the Netherlands which Germany cannot accept. "What will he think of me now? The man on the street, who trusted me, what will he think, and it's over now, I will never manage, that it should end like this". Kohl is not so dumb, as a political animal, that he didn't get that his election is now blown. And he is sitting and telling us this, and his interpreter, I remember, the woman who was always with him, she was sobbing while translating. And then we moved down for forms sake, sometime in the night, to take this decision, to start the EMU. And everything dissolved into total chaos, and bad a mood, and an enourmous crisis, if anything else is really the begining of the EMU.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 05:01:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
put this in a diary, so that more people can see it.

And the Dutch guy's name is Wim Kok.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 05:09:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 08:13:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And some kind of deal has been made, the kind of deal in which Kohl has gone too far. He has agreed to a deal between France and the Netherlands which Germany cannot accept.

Ah, the infamous Duisenberg/Trichet deal.

What, the Germans not only wanted the DM to become the currency of the EU and the Bundesnak to become the ECB, but also a German chairman of the bank?

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 05:24:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Duisenberg was Dutch.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 05:34:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Precisely: a deal between France and the Netherlands that the Germans wouldn't like.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 05:35:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't get you. Duisenberg was Kohl's candidate, he was upset that the French got through with a political deal for Trichet after a half term, where does a German chairman of the bank come into the picture?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Mar 20th, 2007 at 06:05:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Occasional Series