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The Euro-Emperor has no Clothes



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This story caught my eye in the print edition of Monday’s Australian. I can’t find it online, but here’s the gist:

OLLI REHN, the European commissioner in charge of handling the eurozone debt crisis, has been accused of sexism for briefing male journalists while naked in a sauna beneath his office in Brussels.

Yes, they have saunas in the EU offices. According to The Australian:

Olli Rehn, the Finnish vice-president of the European commission, Europe’s executive body, invited a small group of reporters to be briefed on the economic crisis in a sauna at the commission’s Brussels headquarters… They are said to have taken a communal shower and enjoyed two sessions in the sauna.

Burning while Rome fiddles? Commissioner Rehn is a big fan of the sauna:

The sauna builds trust and reveals the bare truth: masks fall away and jargon gives way to hard work… In the 1980s, an initiative to promote European youth cooperation at the Institute of Kiljava quickly became known as “the sauna party” among our guests. This alone did not end the Cold War, but at least it was part of the second wave of détente.

Speak softly and carry a birch twig. Alas, the women decided to wreck it all by wanting in:

I’m all for equality of the sexes but this was just pushing it too far… When I lost the sauna debate I left the meeting, slamming the door behind me. This way I also had time to watch the opening match of the Finnish football season. A few of the ladies who opposed me at the time are ministers today, and I promise not to invite them to the Commission sauna.

This would have been a mildly funnier story had Olli Rehn briefed the journalists naked in his previous job of European Commissioner for Enlargement.



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