Speaking about press briefings, I must add a note about Thursday’s lengthy press briefing on the upcoming EU-USA summit on 2-4 May. The whole briefing was off the record, so I can’t go into too much detail. But you’re not missing much, because it was frankly as exciting as watching paint dry.
However, what did make it worth attending was watching one of the spokesmen for the German presidency, suit-clad, stone-faced and serious-looking, list the issues within the field of foreign policy that would be on the agenda:
“Ze Middle East, ze Israel-Palestinian situation, Lebanon, Syria, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Darfur and Russia, international terrorism, organised crime, and weapons of mass destruction”.
By then, muffled giggles had started spreading among the journalists in the European Council’s press briefing room in Brussels (where the whole thing was shown live on-screen via CCTV as the original briefing was held in Berlin).
Consequently unaware of the amusement he was causing in Brussels, the poor spokesman made a short pause and added, in an unchanged serious voice:
“I’m not sure all of these will be discussed”.
Good thing, then, we must conclude, for the rest of the world’s dictators, criminals, thugs and villains, that the summit is only TWO days long.
PS. Speaking about villains: I wrote this in the reception lobby of a car glass service in Drogenbos, where I had to waste a lot of time watching my car having the window replaced that some faceless thugs smashed in pursuit of my car stereo yesterday. To add insult to injury, it now turns out that the car glass company can’t produce such a window on short notice, so I have to satisfy with a plexiglass dummy TAPED there and come back once again another day for the real thing. All the hassle, all the time wasted, all the frustration, just because of someone who couldn’t care less about other people’s hard-earned belongings! If only THAT could have been on one agenda or another, I murmur selfishly.