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EUobserver / Swedes plan big bang institutional summit in October

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Sweden is hoping to clear up the EU's distracting institutional issues in one grand summit next month in order to drag the union's focus back to pressing international issues.

Speaking to MEPs on Tuesday (1 September) Cecilia Malmstrom, Sweden's Europe minister, said: "Our aim is - if everything goes smoothly and the Lisbon treaty is adopted - that at the October council ...we can decide on all the institutional issues."

The gathering of EU leaders at the end of next month should appoint the new list of commissioners, the new EU foreign minister and the president of the European Council.

According to Mrs Malstrom, the summit should also agree a "loose framework" for the EU's fledgling diplomatic service.

by Fran on Tue Sep 1st, 2009 at 01:58:51 PM EST
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EUobserver / Berlusconi threatens to wreck EU summit unless commission shuts up

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - In a fit of pique, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has threatened to block the upcoming European Council - the top summit of all of Europe's premiers and presidents - if commission spokespeople do not learn to keep quiet.

Commission spokespeople and even commissioners themselves must not speak publicly on "any topic," Mr Berlusconi demanded when speaking reporters in Gdansk during a ceremony marking the start of the Second World War.

PM Berlusconi was in Gdansk with other European leaders marking the start of the Second World War

The "voice of Europe," he said, must be expressed exclusively by the president of the commission or his immediate spokesperson. If this did not happen, he added, he would "block the functioning of the European Council."

Mr Berlusconi, furious at the commission's request for clarification by Italy concerning the deportation of immigrants, took out his anger at the commission spokesperson who had been responding to a question by a journalist about the refugees.

by Fran on Tue Sep 1st, 2009 at 01:59:20 PM EST
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words fail (which is the goal, I suppose).

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 1st, 2009 at 04:14:29 PM EST
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Let Berlusconi try an empty seat crisis and the clown will see how far he gets.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Sep 1st, 2009 at 04:57:30 PM EST
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Does the Italian Constitution have some clause that allows for expelling the head of state on grounds of insanity?

The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence.
by marco on Wed Sep 2nd, 2009 at 02:22:54 AM EST
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Berlu should be a FOX pundit.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Sep 2nd, 2009 at 12:26:59 PM EST
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Were his English sufficient that might offer Italy a way out.  Rupert saves Italy by making B a Fox commentator with, say, a five year guaranteed contract, if he moves to New York and resigns his office in Italy.  That and perhaps a Vatican threat of excommunication, which he wouldn't personally care about but which could undercut him with Italian voters.

B. would be perfect for the RW foamer audience in the USA, a marriage made in Hell.  But he has to be able to do his updated Mussolini act in English.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Sep 2nd, 2009 at 04:27:28 PM EST
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Do Fox commentators get immunity from prosecution? If not, it won't work.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Sep 2nd, 2009 at 04:46:18 PM EST
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