Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Barroso "incompetent" says former foreign minister Fischer - corrected and updated

Via Coulisses de Bruxelles I found an article published on Monday in the French daily Le Figaro in which former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer (Greens, pragmatic left) calls EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso "incompetent".

In this article titled "The crisis - a chance for Europe" Fischer said the following (own translation):
"The incompetent President of the Commission has seen its mandate renewed for five years thanks to his inoffensiveness. Unfortunately, this is also Europe."
The rest of the article is what we have heard from many other mouths these days: Europe needs effective financial and economic governance and the global financial crisis is the perfect moment to put this into place.

But what will remain from this article is that Barroso is "incompetent".


Everything I write above is true, however, there is an English version of the article by Fischer published in New Europe already on 03 November 2008. The paragraph cited reads there:
An incompetent president of the Commission has had his term renewed for another five years as a reward for his innocuousness. Alas, this, too, is Europe.
I am not sure, what is the original version, but since "New Europe" has an earlier date on the text, I wanted it to be mentioned here.


In a comment to this article, Erik has linked Fischer's commentary in a German version, which according to the respective site has been published in October.

Erik also correctly remarks that in the German version, Fischer compares the incompetence of Mr Barroso to the incompetence of the German Minister of the Economy, Michael Glos, something missing in the foreign versions of the text.

Altogether, the text is available in English, Spanish, Russian, French, German, Czeque, and even Chinese.


Erik Wesselius said...

I would guess that the german version of the article is the original.

In that version, Fischer compares Barroso with "the incompetent German Minister of Economics Michael Gloss".

Julien Frisch said...

Thanks for this hint. Now I understand why this text appears in so many different papers.

I have adapted the blog entry in accordance with this new information.