Daily Archives: March 19, 2009

Tony Barber

Like the animals that boarded Noah’s Ark, Europe’s leaders are entering their summit conference centre in Brussels today with the world’s economic floodwaters rising around them. According to the Book of Genesis, Noah was almost 600 years old when the rains started. That surely makes him the Old Testament forerunner of Jean-Claude Juncker, Europe’s longest-serving leader. The gaunt-looking Juncker has been prime minister of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg since 1995 and its finance minister since 1989.

As the leaders climb on board for their two-day European Union summit, it is eerie to hear them, one by one, saying exactly the same thing.  “We don’t need to do a new fiscal stimulus… Any room near the lifeboats over there?”  “We don’t need another fiscal stimulus… I’ll just squeeze in here by the bilge water.”  “Another fiscal stimulus? We don’t need one… Pass me a life jacket, would you?” Read more