Fainting in Coyles An occasional letter from the
Heart of Euroville
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
Walking, as I am lucky enough to do, to work this morning I noticed something rather odd. That is the different responses from the various countries embassies to the whole Tsunami disastor. That is, when to set one's flag at half mast and when not to? So the German flag was limp, as was the flag of Belgium, whereas the Finns, Norwegians and Brits, I am pleased to say, have kept their's aloft. However all the EU institutions had their flags at half mast. Not only that but when I arrived at the Parliament, it too had dropped all ts flags to half mast. Not only that but the Parliament has taken upon itself to render at half mast the flags of those countries whose own embassies have declined to do so.
Now the question that springs to mind is, does the Parliament, or for that matter the Commission have the right to unilaterally decide on flag flying policy for the nation states? Who owns the rights to the flags on the poles outside the institutional buildings? (Physically the institutions I guess, I suspect that they bought them, but morally, I am not so sure).
So I phoned the Commissioon's press service this morning to get an answer to this question. I phoned after 9 o'clock (well, it was at least five past). Only to be told that there not many press officers in this week, there is nobody in charge of Press relations for the Administration at all, in fact as the sectretary pointed out, "I have tried 5 different offices for you and nobody is in". The hing is of course that the executive descision must have been made by somebody. Somebody must have issuedf an order to pull the flags down. I shall report back later. I am told that a women called Pia Ahrenkilde will be able to help later.
Update According to the Commission, not Pia who is alos not in today (despite the fact that I was initially told that she had been seen this morning - oops petty little lie I know but therte you go) the decision was made by the "Presidencies of Luxembourg(new) and Holland(old)". There will be a pan European three minute silence tommorrow.
Ah but the decision was made by, "Barrosso for the EU flag and the dirfferent countries of Europe for their flags". No the Commission does not decide for what seperate countries do, the flags will be lowered tommorrow,, they are already lowered, I don't know who is responsible.
So that's clear then. Next I will try the Parliament.