November 12, 2015
Eagle-eyed EurActiv readers may have noticed this intimate snap of European Council President Donald Tusk and German Chancellor Angela Merkel deep in conversation during the migration summit in Valletta. And the more curious among you may have wondered just how we managed to get such unparalleled access to such powerful people.
Well, we’d love to say it was down to a nose for a story, or just sheer balls. But it was more thanks to a very poor sense of direction.
It was that inability to tell left from right which saw our man in Malta saunter past security and straight into the inner sanctum of EU leaders – a small piazza inside the 16th century castle where the summit was held.
Accompanied by a fellow hack from a well-known British newspaper, realisation suddenly dawned on the newshound that he probably wasn’t where he should be.
The first clue was Frans Timmermans sitting in a corner, the second was Tusk and Merkel having a tete-a-tete on the bench opposite.
Luckily our man had the presence of mind to take the snap before he was moved on a mere six minutes later.
One irate EU official was not too happy about the accidental trespass.
But, as the Maltese security guard pointed out as he was told to get rid of the hacks, “It’s a free country, isn’t it?”
Photo courtesy of James Crisp.