Tim Blair


New Criterion



Sunday, February 16, 2003

Even before the celebrating crowds have left the streets, Greece starts the hangover by demanding Europe make sense of itself.

With the strong backing of Germany, the EU's Greek presidency has called the summit in a bid to knock heads together and reinvigorate a "common foreign policy" that seems to be dead in the water.

You start, Chancellor Weimar:

"Jacques, what do we do to stop Saddam playing our new weapons inspectors for fools?"

"Alors! We send more. Battalions of them." responds President Petain, who has been well briefed.

"With back-up?"

"Mais oui! We can't have French soldiers treated with disprespect. Tanks, planes, radio sets".

"But Jacques, I don't have any. Spent the money on pensions."

"Not a probleme, Gerhard. We just ask the Yankees!"

"But I can't pay them, Jacques. The EU says I have to cut government spending."

"Zut, Gerhard, the potatoes are going to your head. Saddam will pay."

"But he's only got enough money for this year's weapons and palace programs."

"Gerhard, how did you guys ever find your way around the Maginot Line! He just sells more oil.'

"But the sanctions, Jacques, the sanctions?"

"Never stopped us before me old jackboot."

You can see why, as one official remarked:

"The best we can expect is that everybody at least smiles for the family photo."

Maybe they won't. Uncle will.