Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Insider Blog
Major tension in the Parliament, as the new Commission is voted on tomorrow by MEP's in Strasbourg. It's either a yay or nay; they either reject the lot of them or accept them as a slate. The possibility of a "No" vote arose after comments by the Italian candidate, Rocco Buttiglione, who dared to express his own personal beliefs as a right-wing Catholic. The whole mess hinges on the fact that he referred to homosexuality as "a sin" - which, actually, he didn't - that exact word was used by a Green MEP in cross-examination.

So, we have an instance of a massive storm kicked up by the Left, after having seized on a minor part of a Commissioner-elect's testimony, placed words in his mouth and blown the whole thing out of all proportion.

Set aside the ardent Catholic-bashing of certain left-wingers. The reason behind this storm is simple. When Berlusconi was elected President of the Commission, you may recall he took objection to heckling from the leader of the Party of European Socialists, Martin Schulz, and inferred that Herr Schulz would make a good Nazi Camp Commandant in a film. Again, a huge media tempest resulted.

Take note, however: the man leading the push to vote "No" to the new Commission, over the Berlusconi-appointed Signor Buttiglione? Step forward, Martin Schulz. The controversy is nothing more than inflated payback for Signor Berlusconi's falling-out with the Party of European Socialists.

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