Wednesday

1st Apr 2020

EU to appoint high-level truth-teller

EU Council President Herman Achille Van Rompuy has created a new high-level official in charge of puncturing the gloomy atmosphere at EU summits and telling annoying truths to leaders.

The post, for an Information Pasquination Officer, was advertised in the EU's Official Journal on Friday (1 April) and comes with an annual salary of €1.6 million and a large blue hat with 12 saggy peaks, each one topped with a golden star.

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The advert says: "Candidates are expected to show vague awareness of EU institutions and European history, with 10 years' experience of working in a neurotic environment and a post-graduate degree or equivalent from the University of Life."

The successful applicant will: "form part of the cabinet of President Van Rompuy in a permanent advisory capacity and attend meetings of the European Council, tasked with bringing a dose of reality to the hypocritical posturing of normal procedure in line with Article 11 of the EU Treaty on safeguarding the integrity of EU internal and external policy."

Other tasks include throwing custard pies at prime ministers who ask for an EU-IMF bailout and sounding a klaxon whenever anybody uses the phrases "shared values" or "human rights" in reference to EU foreign policy.

In protocol terms, the new official will sit on President Van Rompuy's shoulders in the EU summit 'family photograph.'

He or she will also be required to scatter rose petals under the feet of central Asian gas dictators during their visits to the EU capital.

"Van Rompuy might not be a renaissance-era monarch, but he is a bit literary and he got the idea from the Shakespeare play King Lear, where the fool helps the king hold on to some shreds of sanity," an EU official said on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the inanity.

"We thought the massive salary would give a good laugh to all those nurses and firemen being sacked in member states while we award ourselves pay rises based on an indexation mechanism of Byzantine complexity."

A contact in European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso's inner circle said a similar post had been considered in his cabinet.

"Barroso is a bit self-important. But with people around like Dalli [a Maltese commissioner who recently spoke out in defence of Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi] and Ashton [a commission vice president labouring under the delusion that there is such a thing as EU foreign policy and that she is in charge of it], we thought we didn't need any more clowns."

A contact in EU parliament President Jerzy Buzek's office added: "Nobody takes us seriously anyway. So we are going to wear very dark suits and Cuban heels instead."

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