European Parliament ceiling collapses
12.08.08 @ 17:41
Although languishing in the middle of summer holidays, there was some activity in the European Parliament in Strasbourg last week when part of the ceiling of the main plenary room collapsed.
Last Thursday (7 August), the ceiling of the main hemicycle where up to 785 euro-deputies from the 27 member states assemble to vote on EU laws partially caved in two takes.
French news agency AFP reported that the first part came crashing down around 18.00 CET and another part followed just over four hours later at 22.36 CET.
There were no injuries as the room was empty at the time although a large number of seats have been damaged.
Readers of French newspaper Liberation were generally amused by the event.
Reacting to the news, one said it was a "bad omen for Europe", another called it a "superb metaphor" while a third said it was "sign for a move to Brussels" tapping into the years-long debate about scrapping the monthly trek from the Belgian capital to Alsatian city, a 350km trip involving MEPs, armies of assistants, a generous scattering of lobbyists and truck-loads of documents.
The reason for the incident is not known with no extraordinary weather incidents reported on that day.
During the holidays, the Strasbourg parliament, which is used 12 times a year by MEPs, gets visitor groups.
The last plenary session was in mid July and the next one will take place at the beginning of September.