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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.
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
And then he proceeds to eat butter, copious amounts.
Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
Voice of Göran Person, former Swedish Prime minister:
"It was a great day. It was May the second 1998."
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.
And the Dutch guy's name is Wim Kok.
In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
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."
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