February 19, 2016
Martin Selmayr – characterised by some as the real power behind the Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker – was yesterday (18 February) awarded a great honour by Spain’s Mariano Rajoy.
The German head of cabinet was presented with the “Encomienda de la orden de Carlos III” – which roughly translates as the gift of the order of Carlos III – at a meeting between Rajoy and Juncker.
The meeting was held as heads of state and government were locked in lengthy talks over the Brexit settlement and the migration crisis.
Somewhat surprisingly Juncker himself was not so honoured.
While the order and its accompanying medal does not propel Selmayr to the same heights of Spanish aristocracy as Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, it does come with certain benefits.
One is the obligation for Spaniards – including those on Selmayr’s own staff – to address the EU boss as “Excelentísimo Señor ” or “your Excellency”.
Photo courtesy of Flickr and EEAS.Heard in Europe