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EU's Bread
by Alexandra Pereira
2009-04-14 08:58:38
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I am not saying that we can multiply them (although we should), but do we share our breads inside the EU? Recent laws imposed strict measures to ensure that all the bread inside EU has exactly the same amount of salt, from the coasts of Italy and Portugal to Scotland and from Belgium to Estonia. You see, they are very worried about our health, in Brussels. Of course, some say that bread-lovers will start adding butter with salt and salted bacon or salami to the unsalted bread, in order to be able to taste anything at all – and that will eventually increase the number of strokes, obesity and heart attacks throughout Europe.

Of course such zeal is not applicable to far more important subject matters, like more affordable and effective health services, common education policies and fees, common social benefits and rights while unemployed or when having children, or generally balanced social realities inside the EU. "Employment ministers seem to be on the business as usual mode while workers are on the emergency mode" said UNI europa regional secretary "what could wake them up?" And I’m really sorry to say but this unacceptable inaction of our Ministers harms specially the southern European unemployed, as well as the people from Eastern Europe’s poor countries.  Do we share our breads inside EU?

What is this? Are we treated like children, European Union? Are we blind or stupid? Do we look like jerks? What if we want to kill ourselves with salt in our bread? – even if we’re adults enough to decide that , perhaps we can’t anyway, because of not having a job to help us afford to buy the bread!!! Am I the only one showing indignation and concern with these deep contradictions? I don’t think so! And you tell me that NO change is needed in Europe??

On this subject of change still, I tried to find a compatriot more dignified than Barroso, so I should translate parts of a recent article by my humorist compatriot Ricardo A. Pereira1: “The protocol says no one can touch the Queen of England (as for years it was evident, the protocol does not impose the same rule on the Princess of Wales), but Obama’s wife hugged her and the Queen, instead of censoring Michelle, hugged her back. Hate between representatives of different countries can take our world to the ruin, but affection also creates serious diplomatic incidents. Foreign relations are politically complex, however they are even more complex from an affective viewpoint. 

Still about the visit of Barack Obama to Europe, a last note about the role played by Mr. Barroso, which was none. Nevertheless, I should confess that I am worried about Barroso’s health condition. First of all, because Barroso is losing his eyebrows. This is no political metaphor, I’m being literal: at this moment, Barroso has only three or four hairs above each one of his eyes, something which is reasonably disturbing.

Second, I fear for the back of our former prime-minister. Obama came to Europe to regret the international policy choices made by Bush and promised a new route. Barroso, who in the Azores summit helped Bush to realize the policy criticized by Obama, said now that he was delighted with the change promised by the new president. These acrobatic twists and turns mustn’t be good for one’s back.” 

In the same week, 83 year-old Mário Soares, a Portuguese EU founding father, criticized Barroso’s lack of coherence, said he saw Barroso as “a person of the past, connected with the shameful Azores summit” and declared that he was “shocked that a man who was an admirer and sincere friend of Bush, who supported him in the war against Iraq, after just a short period of time can say he feels the same thing about Bush’s main antagonist”.

In the same day, Fernando Nobre, former member of Médecins Sans Frontières and president of the Portuguese AMI – International Medical Assistance (for humanitarian aid and medical emergency missions abroad) and a mandate holder for the European Parliament elections criticized the EU for preparing the reelection of Barroso as the President of the Commission, stating that “he is the only one from the summit of the Shame, in Azores, who still wants to remain active (…) he is an example of those wizard apprentice politicians who want to hold on to power, with no spine, who think that with a plastic surgery, everything can remain the same”. And if everything remains the same, Nobre also predicted “social outbursts in Europe which can founder our democracies”.  

* * * * * * 

1 Ricardo Araújo Pereira: Boca do Inferno, Visão Magazine (9-15 of April 2009)

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AP2009-04-14 14:26:20
Other good examples of "no policy" areas: more equal salaries inside EU and strict social protection laws for temporary workers inside the EU, to prevent workers' exploitation.
But no no no: we're busy with the salt in our bread and there are orders not to fund who plants cork trees in lines, but to fund those who plant them slightly scattered. How ridiculous can bureaucracy be? If EU does not respect regional characteristics and floods everybody with useless laws, what's its purpose anyway?

AP2009-04-14 14:39:03
Bureaucracy has to be heavily reduced, and sand has to stop being thrown to our eyes:
were you elected to solve the real problems or to create new ones?
And people like the puppet Mr. Barroso, the shame of his entire country + Europe, must not have a seat over there.

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