Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
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
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