Today, we’re looking at people power, Maggie manoeuvring and sock-gate.
We start in the Czech republic where a reported 250,000 people were on the streets protesting against embattled PM Andrej Babis. James Shotter shared this incredible picture of the crowds.
Huge protest in Prague today against Czech prime minister Andrej Babis. Organisers say 250,000 people are taking part https://t.co/AnEvTqdSPe
— James Shotter (@JamesShotter) June 23, 2019
Joyce Karam tweeted out amazing drone footage from the Prague protests. It’s been called the biggest rally since communist era Czechoslovakia.
Wow. Drone footage of Protests today in #Prague Demanding Resignation of PM Babis over fraud.
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) June 23, 2019
The European Greens gave their full support to the protesters, who were calling for Babis to resign over allegations of corruption.
— European Greens (@europeangreens) June 23, 2019
Babis survived a no confidence vote in the end but that could be far from the end of the story.
— EURACTIV (@EURACTIV) June 27, 2019
People power was in full flow in Istanbul too, where Ekrem Imamoglu was elected mayor in a re-run of the city’s elections. He defeated the ruling party’s candidate. Again.
— Marietje Schaake (@MarietjeSchaake) June 23, 2019
The new mayor told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that “no one will be able to interfere with elections to such an extent again”.
EXCLUSIVE: “No one will be able to interfere with elections to such an extent again,” Istanbul Mayor-elect @ekrem_imamoglu tells me.
He had to run twice, after the AKP challenged the outcome of a 1st vote. Pres Erdogan’s party won't control Istanbul for the first time in 25yrs. pic.twitter.com/o03q0LdwXI
— Christiane Amanpour (@camanpour) June 26, 2019
It was worse news in Hungary though, where the final graduation ceremony was held for the Central European University in Budapest. The seat of learning is moving to Vienna. George Soros’ son told students that he couldn’t wait for Hungary to become a democratic country again.
Last graduation ceremony held today at @ceuhungary in Budapest after government forces them out of the country. In his speech, Alexander Soros (son of George Soros) tells students: I can't wait for the day when #Hungary becomes a democratic country again".
— Viktória Serdült (@sviki1980) June 24, 2019
EU leaders resume their wrangling over the top jobs this weekend. One of the candidates, Margrethe Vestager got the backing of the new Danish PM to stay in Brussels even if she doesn’t land the big prize.
— Margrethe Vestager (@vestager) June 26, 2019
She said she was happy to get the nod while former PM and a darkhorse in the top job race herself, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, said she will do a fantastic job.
Congratulations to @vestager. You will do a fantastic job!
— Helle Thorning S (@HelleThorning_S) June 26, 2019
One political commentator who doesn’t think she will do a great job is a certain president of the United States. Trump believes that Vestager hates America more than anyone else he’s ever met. Presumably that includes Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un.
Trump criticizes EU cases against US tech companies, adding that the US should do the same. On @vestager: "What she does to our country. She’s suing all our companies. We should be suing Google and Facebook, and all that, which perhaps we will." https://t.co/PaJhXnL8gT
— Catherine Stupp (@catstupp) June 26, 2019
As an amuse-bouche to the summit, Brussels journalists gave some sage advice to the Council. Evan Lamos pleaded with them to stop having meetings that end at 2 in the morning.
Then 👏 stop 👏 having 👏 summits 👏 that 👏 end 👏 at 👏 two 👏 o'clock 👏 in 👏 the 👏 morning 👏. pic.twitter.com/cmewjiumGJ
— Evan Lamos (@evanlamos) June 21, 2019
They seemed to have listened but it now means that the summit could last all the way until breakfast. Jorge Valero suggested a rave party to celebrate the new appointments.
Council services just warned us about what is coming on Sunday's EU summit #EUCO
If necessary, the meeting may continue with a breakfast on Monday 1st July.
If necessary, rave party to celebrate the election of new presidents [place to be confirmed]
— Jorge Valero (@europressos) June 25, 2019
I’m pretty sure that’s a gig that Jorge would kill to get.
They’ve got the room and DJ for it pic.twitter.com/ONO1a29wYA
— Sam Morgan (@SamJamesMorgan) June 27, 2019
We just hope proceedings can live up to last weekend’s. Andrew Duff drew attention to one of the weirdest and best pressers between Juncker and Donald Tusk ever.
— Andrew Duff (@AndrewDuffEU) June 21, 2019
Jean-Claude was also in fine form this week, when a journalist asked Slovakia’s first woman president, Zuzana Čaputova if she was stressed after changing clothes 3 times. Odd question to ask in 2019 but Juncker stepped in and revealed that he was on to his third shirt of the day too.
Someone asked Slovakia's first woman President @ZuzanaCaputova if she is stressed as she has "changed clothes 3 times…"
In Brussels. 2019. No question of that kind for the man, of course…
Juncker, during his turn: "it's the third shirt I am wearing today, by the way…." pic.twitter.com/FD2upts9hv
— Pablo Pérez 🇪🇺 (@PabloPerezA) June 25, 2019
And it was a week of EU lookalikes. A meeting between Council presidents old and current prompted Danny Kemp to say he wasn’t sure about this Simon and Garfunkel reunion.
Not sure about this Simon & Garfunkel reunion pic.twitter.com/MALbb13oFj
— Danny Kemp (@dannyctkemp) June 24, 2019
While Jorge’s trip down memory lane reminded us all of how youthful Guy Verhofstadt and Jean-Claude Juncker used to look.
— Jorge Valero (@europressos) June 24, 2019
It prompted a period of self-reflection by Georgi Gotev, who realised that 1997 Jean-Claude looks awfully familiar…
Finally, even the most noble efforts to keep Tweets of the Week Brexit- and Boris-free are sometimes doomed to failure, this edition is unfortunately no exception. But just check out the UK’s probable next prime minister regaling us about how he makes model buses out of cardboard boxes during his free time.
This is truly weird. Boris Johnson, likely the next Prime Minister of the UK, gets asked what he likes to do in his free time, to relax. Watch what he says…it's so bizarre that it's mesmerizing. Via @talkRADIO pic.twitter.com/aXp5hmCMVg
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) June 25, 2019
John Elledge gave probably the most logical appraisal of what prompted this frankly baffling revelation by Johnson.
THEORY: As he gives these answers, Boris Johnson is looking out of a window, through which he can see some buses and some crates. https://t.co/UakCRJLbNi
— Jonn Elledge (@JonnElledge) June 25, 2019
But it was his choice of socks that prompted an in-depth inquest by John Stevens, who noticed that Johnson was wearing the same pair for days on end.
Has Boris Johnson only got one pair of socks?
— John Stevens (@johnestevens) June 25, 2019
A spokesperson was quick to deny that it was the same pair of socks, insisting there were multiple pairs.
Great story: Boris has numerous pairs of 'King of the World' socks that he wears every day https://t.co/seAuVO7nLl
— Richard Eden (@richardaeden) June 25, 2019
Turns out, the socks depict an ancient ruler who once called himself, “King of the World” Possibly in keeping with how Johnson sees himself.
🧦 The socks are from the @britishmuseum shop and cost £5.99 a pair
👑 They depict King Ashurbanipal who called himself "King of the World" 👑
😮 And what did Boris tell his sister he wanted to be aged 5? World King!
— John Stevens (@johnestevens) June 25, 2019
Unfortunately for any of you wannabe global emperors out there, the British Museum has sold out of the socks.
Bad news if you want king of the world socks like Boris’s pic.twitter.com/6BT2incVNb
— John Stevens (@johnestevens) June 26, 2019
And it would be rude not to acknowledge a notable birthday, even if it is a child that most people don’t want. That’s right, Brexit turns three this week. A front page from Libe shared by Darren McAffrey still sums matters up quite perfectly. .
THREE YEARS AGO: The French took the piss out of #Brexit
— Darren McCaffrey (@DarrenEuronews) June 24, 2019
I’m Sam Morgan, thanks for joining me. I’m heading back into cold storage to ride out the heatwave. Jen is back next week.
Ciao for now