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One Europe? You Must Be Joking!


In the uniting of Europe everybody is fixat

ed on economical problems, on taxes, laws, but what really makes one country are the people living in it. The officials from Brussels do not stop emphasizing that the European peoples need each other - like in a big family!. Are'nt we all in fact blood-brothers, the Belgians, the British, the Italians, the French and the Dutch and all those others?

No says a skeptical, dr H.L. Wesseling, professor in European History at Leiden University in Holland: 'One Europe, with all those nationalists? You must be joking! I know of no more chauvinist people than ourselves, the Dutch, and they just do not stop talking about 1992! I am against the idea of removing the frontiers. The different countries and cultures may not be sacrificed to the strictly economical concept of Europe. Our past is one of Europeans against each other. The only thing that possibly unites us is religion, but who does still believe in God nowadays?'.

Is Wesseling right? What do you really think when you cross the French border: European bloodbrothers or bloody chauvinists? Let's be honest! But let's not forget that the French may also think some unpleasant things about us, and all the other people in the 12 countries that make up the EC. Why pretend that we do not have prejudices against each other? What chance does a marriage have if you do not tell each other the truth? That is why we called twelve journalists in twelve EC-countries to tell us what they, and the people they represent, really think of their Euro-neighbours.

Wilfried Hendrikx, editor of Humo, Brussels.

Belgium - Farmers. Rude, little style. I'd rather even be french. Brussels has no face and that is the real reason why it is the european capital. They didn't hurt anyone by taking Brussels. Easy living though, many opportunities for fooling around with taxes and the law.

Danmark - Expensive. People with long horse teeth and shrunken gums. Old faces. Never laugh. Wouldn't go there for a holiday.

France - In a recent IQ test in the 10 countries of the EC, their score was the lowest. Feel superior, but are a lousy folk.

Greece - The opposite of the ancient Greeks. Softies. Honest shepherds.

Great Britain - I hate that people. The food is horrible. Never say what they think. Hide their opinions in understatements.

Ireland - Sort of Flemings. Cosiest people of Britain, somewhat fanatic though. All beards and red hair and sitting round a camp fire. Always drunk!

Italy - I love Italy, especially the women. The Italian man is too small. I do not understand how those wonderful women can love such mediocre men.

Luxemburg - The Swiss of the EC. Absolutely unfriendly, hypocritical. Failed cross-breed of Germans and Frenchmen.

Holland - They have a problem with good and bad, with extremes. They think that they are the moral center of the world. I do not like them very much.

Portugal - I love this sweet country. They all read poetry there. I regret them being part of the EC, it'll spoil the country.

Spain - I don't believe in human dignity, Spaniards do. Even the beggars wear dinner-jackets. I hate it, nowhere else am I less at ease. They are arrogant, close to the Britons.

Germany - They suffer and try to escape their problems by means of big Mercedesses. One German is kind, 10 Germans makes an army. On holidays they always get up very early to get the best places in the swimming pools.

Michael Bywater, writer, London.

Belgium - An incredibly peaceful country, largely because it is so small. I think all the chips they eat have affected their intelligence. It's divided in two parts that hate each other. One part speaks bad French, the other bad Dutch. The chips hold them together.

Danmark - The Russians call them: spare Germans. It is the only nation which admits that the only purpose of drinking is to get drunk. They are all depressed, probably from eating cheese. It is interesting that two major exports are Swedish pornography and Greek cheese.

France - We hate them. We always think that the French are plotting against us, because they are always in darkened rooms. I think they like us to believe that they are making love in those darkened rooms, but they actually are recovering from the huge amount of drinks they consume. The worst lovers in the world, they never do it at all.

Greece - The birthplace of civilization, but civilization left home a long time ago. So did a lot of Greeks because they couldn't stand Greek food anymore. The only country where the food is worse than in the UK. All Greeks work in the tourist industry in the summer, and in the winter they all go to Athens to make ancient Hellenic pots.

United Kingdom - They claim to be peaceful and tolerant, but if you look at history they are the most warlike and nasty nation in the world. They fought absolutely everyone at some time or another. It is very much a country on the decline. We have been fighting for 2000 years and we are exhausted and want to be left alone. The country where it is the least possible to have any fun in Europe. We hate children. We beat them, we send them away to school, we sexually abuse them, it is disgusting.

Ireland - The English have been telling the Irish what to do for thousand years. But they won't take the hint, and that is why the hint is getting increasingly more forceful.

Italy - They shout an awful lot, but never about anything important. They are like what England will be in a hundred years . We are in decline, Italy has declined, they have just settled into comfortable decadence. That is why they dress so well and have such a good time.

Luxemburg - An old philosophical problem: when there is nobody to hear a tree falling in the forest, does it make a noise? Once, when the European comittee is not in Luxemburg to keep an eye on it, it is not there. It doesnt exist, except in the films they made in England in the 1940-ies. Luxemburg is something they bought from the film studio's, and planted there.

Holland - The dutch worry me very much. They are so tolerant, Why? Why do they feel they have to tolerate everything that we are up to. The only other thing I know about the Dutch, is that they are very good at blending tobacco, bycicling, and speaking everybody elses language better than the native. If the Dutch stop being tolerant, they start being warlike. Probably the most fearsome country the world has ever known.

Portugal - Spare Spaniards. Its existance is illusory. Lots of English criminals in yellow pullovers there, they golf a lot. But are there any Portugese? They occasionally have revolutions, which nobody ever hears about afterwards.

Spain - Aaah! Well There are two sorts of Spaniards. There is the strange mumbling kind which mutters at you, and there is the tall aristocratic which sneers at you. They don't like anyone except the Spanish. And most of all they hate the Portugese. They are an extremely disorganized, chaotic, fascinating civilization.

Germany - Despite everything that happened there are still two sorts of Germans, the Germans with spiked helmets, and the Germans with briefcases. I suppose the briefcase Germans are in charge, but I think the helmet Germans hoddle together to plan something in the living room, or 'Lebensraum' as they call it. But I could forgive Germany everything because it has the best brothels in the world.

Forettini, cartoonist of La Reppublica, Rome

Belgium - Useless country. Grey, no personality. The stupidest people of Europe.

Danmark - Don't know about it. Old country. France - Arrogant, arrogant and also very arrogant.

Greece - Kind of Italians. Truffatori! Imbruglioni! They are frauds. They play games and are the ugliest people in Europe.

Great Britain - Think they are always right, feel themselves very superior.

Ireland - Cruel and fanatic. IRA!

Italy - Thieves. All of them!

Luxemburg - Does that exist?

Holland - Anonymous. No personality.

Portugal - Backward. Concerned with the past.

Spain - Lazy and tired people. Nevertheless the most sympathetic of all countries in the EC.

Germany - Watch out for them. A constant threat. Unsympathetic.

Gregor Frenkel Frank, copywriter, Amsterdam.

Belgium - Funny satirical programm. Many lights on the highway Better food than in France. Stupid? I think it is more the impression they make.

Danmark - Like to laugh. Their king decided to wear the jewish star during the war, just like the jews were forced to. That was a very good thing to do. Do they drink a lot? Everybody does so north of Hamburg.

France - Paris: much creativity and allure. In general a people of la bouffe, le pinard et les fesses. Assholes to work with. Drink much more beer than we do.

Greece - It is beautiful there, but when I arrive with a cruise on Mykonos and visit a ruin which is filled with the noise of disco music - I get sick! Bad food, after two days you really want to go home.

United Kingdom - There I feel more away from home than on a mule in Spain. The women are men there, and the man seem gay. I do not understand a thing of this country.

Ireland - The country that gave policemen to New York, policemen who didn't do too good a job. Very green. I have no urge to go their ever.

Italy - Beautiful, nice food, but you never know - ever read the book? - whether it was Gods will or the Mafia's. Allure, not decadent.

Luxemburg - I have never understood why that country exists. Very ugly people. Had one good skier once, but his best years are also over.

Holland - I like to live here. Apart from the climate I wouldn't know any other place on earth. A permissive society, relaxed.

Portugal - Women in mourning. Spain - The inlands seem to be beautiful, on the coast you can only get steak and peas.

Germany - I was born there, lived there a few years, and I was back once. Only one remark, one cry and I run back to the plane. I cannot stand it.

Javier Rubio Navarra, editor of El Europeo, Madrid.

Belgium - Their king married a spanish noblewoman of whom the Spaniards had never heard. Those who did know her failed even more to understand. If their king is like that, how bad is it with the people?

Danmark - The existence of this hypothetical country remains to be proven.

France - For 90% reponsible for ETA-terrorism. 'Jilipolla'!.

Greece - The most famous Greek in Spain is basketballer Nikos Gralis. He was born in the United States.

United Kingdom - To us it is a mystery how such a political system can survive in a country with so many hooligans.

Ireland - These are Spaniards who have taken the wrong train. They belong there like dogs in a churchmass.

Italy - Talk a lot, get easily in touch with women. Are too much concerned with their physical appearances. Of all the tourists that visit Spain, the most sympathetic ones, if I may use that word.

Luxemburg - Hypothetical country, no Spaniard knows it.

Holland - Tulips, Philips, cheese.

Portugal - We do not understand why Portugal is not a part of Spain. Historically it is. But well, there are black sheep in every family.

Spain - Felipe Gonzalez is very European, the rest of us ressents the idea of a united Europe. But it seems unavoidable.

Germany - A Spaniard in Germany counts more than a Turk, but less than an Italian. Hard workers. The least sympathetic tourists here - after the French though.

Jens Lohmann, foreign editor of Information, Kopenhagen.

Belgium - Where is that?

Danmark - Navel of the world. We are going bankrupt, thanks to the best pupil of Margaret Thatcher. We ought to leave the EC.

France - They think they are the middle of Europe.

Greece - Always drinking retsina and always mad at the Turks. United Kingdom - A society divided in classes which, thanks to Thatcher, is sinking back into the 19th century. Ireland - Drink a lot of whiskey and sing beautiful songs.

Italy - Mafiosi in the south and Fiat in the north. And the pope in between. The pope is in fact in between anything.

Luxemburg - Banks.

Holland - A flat country where they are rolling cheeses, make televisions and where you can shop taxfree.

Portugal - The forgotten country. Cheap, sympathetic.

Spain - Best wine in Europe. They do not like to criticize the EC, very much contrary to the Danes.

Germany - Where all bad things come from. Pollution, war. The ugliest people in Europe.

Joaquim Letria, editor in chief, Sabado, Lisbon.

Belgium - A lot of Portugese soldiers were killed there in WW I. Now our members of the European parliament get fat there on mussels and chips.

Danmark - Popular country. Sexfilms, beautiful girls.

France - They have complexes about Napoleon, about nazi collaboration, and about the english language. Here they try to get the French language 'back' by means of a radiostation. They do not succeed.

Greece - Ancient Greece we know. The contemporary Greece is to us only a statistical reference: are we poorer or richer than they are? We are richer now.

United Kingdom - Lion without teeth. Our oldest tradepartner and ally. Low quality tourists, hooligans.

Ireland - We hear more about Northern Ireland. That means: trouble, IRA and a strong catholic church. Many Irish come as a pilgrim to Fatima.

Italy - The kind of country Portugal would like to be. Beautiful cars, beautiful women. During the past 15 years we had only 14 governments. They had much more, we are jealous.

Luxemburg - Kind of Liechtenstein or Malta. Unknown, although there are a lot of Portugese in Luxemburg. A trading place, hardly a country.

Holland - Soccer world power. Flowers, a beautiful capital with prostitutes behind windows. Very respected for their resistence during the German occupation.

Portugal - Very good people, but on the wrong track. Adapt easily. Outside the country they work hard, not inside, that is why we are so poor. Much influence of a reactionary catholic church.

Spain - Our hate and love. We resisted their domination en remained independent. After the civil war Spain was much poorer than Portugal, but now Spain is an example of development.

Germany - Example of perfection, of organizing capacities, of development, the good life. Not very popular, but more popular than the British. They stick to themselves and do not mix with us.

Emile Rossler, adjoint editor in chief, Luxemburger Wort, Luxemburg.

Belgium - We love them. In jokes we like to call them stupid, but perhaps they are more somewhat naive. We do not understand their language trouble. Luxemburg is bilingual too.

Danmark - Cold northerners. Difficult to approach. Beautiful women though, who stick to themselves. I would not go there for a holiday.

France - A few kilometers across the border you have to explain where our country is located. Anything that is not French is without value. Lazy. The Germans had won the war before the French were awake and had their boots on.

Greece - Consider themselves as the cradle of democracy. They made beautiful statues of young men, which is why everyone thinks they are gay. I once knew a Greek who was gay, though also others who were not.

United Kingdom - Flegmatic, snob. Mistrust anything from the continent. Arrogant. Not too sympathetic. Ugly. First they were against the EC and now they want to have more benefits than the rest. We should kick them out of the EC.

Ireland - Far away, isolated. Not much contact with the rest.

Italy - Good talkers, but do not take them too serious! Nice, sing a lot. A bit superficial. Lazy. Always run after the women. The smartest people in the EC.

Luxemburg - It is very clean here, and we have the highest standard of living in the EC. The excises are low, so everybody buys his tobacco and alcoholic drinks here. That is why the European internal market is our nightmare. 150 banks.

Holland - Misers. Do not spend enough in our restaurants. Go to a bar with their own water, and only ask for glasses. The young Dutchmen have no discipline or moral. Drugs!

Portugal - There are 30.000 portugese here who clean our buildings, almost 10% of the total population. They are sympathetic, but we do not have much contact with them.

Spain - Proud of their history. Beautiful women. Black hair!

Germany - They had us twice in history, and we have not forgiven them. They lost the war and now they want to show that they have won the economic war.

Nicolas Mulcahy , adjoint editor in chief, Phenix Mag, Dublin.

Belgium: I very rarely meet them. A lot of Irish people in Brussels like living there. Well organized city, but the Belgians themselves are sober. Would never do things to exces. Country run by well educated lawyers.

Danmark: You don't meet many Danes unfortunately. Like the Dutch, the middle aged generation seems to have a hangover from the hippie era. The youngsters are more conservative. Pretty women though.

France - Like the English, very chauvinist and superior. More respect for socialism than in England. Racist, not very friendly, like to stick to themselves. Very well dressed. Like to drink a lot and eat good food. Obsessed by sex. Very bad at foreign languages.

Greece - Obsessed by Turkey and America. Officials are sourely and unhelpful. Smoke a lot and are shorter in size than most Europeans. Animated amongst themselves, but reserved to outsiders. Like all the mediterraneans: fiercely nationalistic, they think they are superior to people in other countries. Should be kicked out of the EC because they are a part of Asia.

United Kingdom - It is a very materialist country. A lot of hatred between the rich and the poor. Very racist. Massive superiority complex. A lot of hard workers and creative entrepreneurs. They like to travel a lot. Very strictly organized society, very violent. Defenitely the dumbest, stupidest people of Europe.

Ireland - Creative, energetic, talented, don't take capitalism too seriously. Enjoy socializing in the evening, more so than most Europeans. The main reason is that the police aren't as strict here as elsewhere. Much more easy going about paying taxes and obeying the law, because it isn't been strongly enforced. Ireland has probably send more people abroad than any other country, and they all do very well. A lot of people don't like the French and the English. We don't have much history to be proud of. So we are not as full of ourselves as other countries.

Italy - Good at talking and doing deals. Bit chaotic country but very industrious. Very full of themselves. Men are sexists and can be patulent, fly off the handle, argue. One of the nicest people you meet in Europe, friendly. A lot of poverty though. Physically the most beautiful people in the EEC.

Luxemburg - It has a radiostation that nobody listens to anymore.

Holland - Good footballers. Speak very good English, do not seem to have very much culture of their own. Do not seem to travel very much. Can be a bit dull, generally relaxed. A lot of Irish people have worked there, but they don't really like it. Not as liberal as it used to be.

Portugal - Friendlier than the Spanish. Much wealth, but the poor people live like dogs. Not as quick of the mark as the Spanish in business. Just like Ireland. Easygoing, nice guys. Spain - They sent a lot of kids over here, but they aren't liked. They are too cocky, full of themselves, noisy. They dress well but they all dress the same. Very little individuality. Rather aloof and proud.

Germany - The Irish meet all the Germans down in Spain on holidays and they much resent it, because they are always the first to grab the sunchairs. The man are fat, the women are vain. Very noisy in crowds. The country has a very high living standard, but it is not a very nice place to live.

Philippe Aubert, commentator Radio Europe 1, Paris.

Belgium - The unsuccessful little brother of France. We find it embarassing that Belgians dare to speak French, because they are so much dumber and so vulgar.

Danmark - The only Danes we ever meet are 25, blonde and mannequin in Paris. Nobody ever goes to Danmark, but we would love to have those girls as au-pair, and jump on them in the evenings.

France - We are so much better than the other countries! We keep on wondering what we need those other countries for in Europe. In the ideal Europe all countries should try to look like us.

Greece - Farther away than Turkey. If we ever see a Greek, it is folklore. They all wear little skirts and are all homosexual. How do they reproduce?.

United Kingdom - Exactly the opposite of the French. Our mouths are not made to speak English. Apes became humans, some apes became British. Irritating. Out of the EC with them.

Ireland - The Irish are drunk and poor. The only quality that we know of is that they play rugby very well. The Belgians of the UK.

Italy - Very sympathetic, but mad. We are always affraid that he runs off with our women. We admire them. Italy starts just south of Rome. North of Rome is a part of France.

Luxemburg - Luxemburgers do not exist, nor does the country. There are just banks and bank employees. They are sad and grey.

Holland - Always blonde with moustaches. We fail to understand how they can live below sealevel. Tulips and cigars. Kind, and not stupid because they make money. One more big wave and all that remains is silence.

Portugal - Al the French have a Portugese housekeeper whose name is Maria. We like to joke about her impossible French accent. Why are they not normal Spaniards? Ugly.

Spain - Irritant people, cause much more modern than we are. They have more democracy. Since the death of Franco, spaniards start businesses, sing, make movies. That scares us.

Germany - We hate them in their beautiful metallic coloured Mercedeses. Didn't WE win that war? Unbearable!. Always fat, always eating. They should have been poor and unhappy.

Reinhard Hesse, editor, Transatlantik, Munchen.

Belgium - Chips, the European comission, and many lights on the highway. For the rest nothing happens. They even have to import violence, through British hooligans. There seems to be a fight over languages, but does anyone understand them at all?

Danmark - Green and purple sausages. Oh, If I only had condoms with me when I was there as a boy! Nice but closed people. Forced to drink rum which has been made awfully expensive by an over-educative government.

France - Parisians complain about life in the big city, while on the countryside they save money for a lifetime to be able to live in Paris. Do not like to travel, strange languages or strange food. Civilized, except towards foreigners.

Greece - Drown cheese in rancid olive oil. Invented democracy in a world of barbarians, and became barbarians in a world of democrats.

United Kingdom - Governed by a civil sevice, which sabotages any initiative and denies any responsibility. Clearly a woman was needed here. After 30 seconds they snatch everything out of the pan to let it burn black in the oven.

Ireland - Only they could invent to drown their already wet rained life in beer or whiskey. This keeps their crusaders soul tranquillized which prevents them from slaughtering their neighbours for believing in the wrong god.

Italy - They do not understand mode and trends. In reality they cannot say goodbye to the most old fashioned fenomena: Mafia, Democrazia Christiania, Brigate Rosse... The Italian kitchen is worldclass, but not in Germany.

Luxemburg - Solely merchants. They got the EC and other expensive institutes and give back very mediocre things like radio Luxemburg.

Holland - Honourable merchants that respect the civil rights. If they were hung they would sell the rope. English sailors said: 'Thats the trouble with the Dutch, they give too little and ask too much'.

Portugal - Brave but stupid. First create a revolution, let the communists take it over and then let it be broken down by reactionaries. The people remain the same, just like their inflation rates.

Spain - Since the end of dictatorship they dance in the streets. And they do not give a damn if they block the street for a chat from carwindow to carwindow on their night off. The funniest Europeans.

Germany - I refuse to say something about them. I would lose my sense of humour. Horrible!

Angelo Stanjos, political editor, Tobondiki, Athens.

Belgium - The way the Americans think about the Poles, we think about the Belgians. We joke about them.

Danmark - Dull. Beautiful women, but for the rest nothing ever happens there.

France - They want everything for themselves, the snobs of the EG. Think they are the middle of Europe and the world. Pretend they have the copyright for culture. We don't care.

Greece - We are the middle of the world. Proud of our history, and glad that, despite the Turks, we can still live here. Papandreous wife is no problem. Let him do what he likes and shut up. The EC is the best thing that has happened to us in the last 20 years.

United Kingdom - Should never have joined the EC. Represents the USA. Thatcher is hated, she is a block for the agricultural policy that we need. Away with them. Still think they are a world empire. Filthiest kitchen of the world. Ugly.

Ireland - Drink a lot, fight a lot. But nevertheless sympathetic because they too hate the British.

Italy - Sympathetic. We say: one people, one destiny.

Luxemburg - Tax evasion.

Holland - Tough. Not very kind to Greece. Pro-Turk. Wherever England goes, Holland follows.

Portugal - Where is that? We compare ourselves with Portugal and Ireland, which is the poorest. Greece is, a poor country with rich people. Result of the black market.

Spain - Sort of Italians. Sympathetic but unknown.

Germany - The boss of the EC. Superior. We fear and respect them. Many Greeks went there to work during the sixties. The Germans are born to work.

Theo Richel august 16, 1992.