Heard in Europe

The sound of grumbling stomachs and grumbling officials reached Heard in Europe’s ears this week. A string of wildcat strikes by staff working in the Commission’s canteen resulted in long queues at Exki, and long faces in the Berlaymont. A well-placed source whispered that the problem stemmed from the declining quality of lunch. Caterers Ciano,… » read more

Posted by Heard in Europe

Corruption scandals in Romania are not big news. They come and go, sometimes bringing justice, sometimes not, and sometimes just appearing to do so. Mihaela Ciocea, a Romanian judge for seventeen years, has been trying to fight the system for years. Even after Romania joined the European Union, according to Ciocea, corruption is rife among… » read more

Posted by Heard in Europe

89-year-old Italian President Giorgio Napolitano handed over his resignation today (14 January) [read more]. It seems that the next Italian President will be a woman, sources in Rome say. Two female names are circulating: former EU Commissioner and former Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino, as well current Italian Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti. Although less popular… » read more

Posted by Heard in Europe

You must be smoking!

  “Fancy a quick cig break Michel?” One of the inconveniences of being President of the European Commission is the need to comply with those pesky EU anti-smoking rules. Jean-Claude Juncker is well-known for his love of a crafty cigarette – or 20. And he has form when it comes to flouting the rules… Former… » read more

Posted by Heard in Europe

Which excitable extremist has called on European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and the whole executive, to waive their salaries? Step forward Italy’s Gianluca Buonanno, a Lega Nord MEP who optimistically demanded the gesture as a “clear token of his [Juncker’s] good intentions”. Buonanno slapped in a parliamentary question that has more than a whiff of… » read more

Posted by Heard in Europe