Tweets of the Week: MEPs squawking, May isn’t baulking, goodbye Stephen Hawking

This week, in Parliament Selmayr’s appointment provokes more squawking, reacting to Russian poisoning, Theresa May is not baulking, and the world says goodbye to the amazing Stephen Hawking.

The European Parliament was in Strasbourg this week, and the hottest topic of debate was Martin Selmayr’s unorthodox promotion last month – it’s the EU scandal that just keeps giving.

As spoof account Martini Seltzermayr put it, one does not simply walk into the post of secretary general.

Human Resources Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said all procedures for Selmayr’s promotion were followed. But several MEPs weren’t buying it.

Bart Staes said the appointment “smells from a mile away.”

Jan Zahradhil said it must have been a personal favour to Jean-Claude Juncker so his political legacy can outlive his time in the Commission.

Dutch MEP Sophie in‘t Veld eviscerated Oettinger, saying #SelmayrGate destroys the EU’s credibility as a champion of integrity and transparency.

Guy Verhofstadt said if the Juncker Commission isn’t careful, it could end up like the Santer Commission, which was forced to resign en masse in 1999.

But he also pointed out that Selmayr has done something no one has managed before: united the entire Parliament, left and right.

Other items on the Plenary agenda included breaches of human rights, corporate tax, EU budget 2019, the situation in Syria, and OF COURSE! Brexit. The Parliament approved a resolution for future EU-UK relations post-Brexit saying any such framework must respect the integrity of the EU single market and the four freedoms.

Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans was also in Strasbourg. Where he took a strong stand against those responsible for the poisoning in Salisbury in England of a former Russian spy and his daughter.

“The UK must see very clearly that there is unequivocal, unwavering and very strong European solidarity with the British people and the British Government,” said Timmermans.”

Theresa May’s response was to kick 23 Russian diplomats out of the UK on Wednesday.

And you’ll never guess what happened next… Russia decided to kick out UK diplomats.

Is this another Cold War? Many people on Twitter certainly think so.

However, Russia sympathisers were quick to blame anyone but Russia for the attack, including MI6, the CIA, and even the EU.

Although news that British ministers and the Royal family will not attend World Cup in Russia this summer probably didn’t bother Putin.

Rory Byrne‏ suggested that sending all the boozed-up England football fans there might be an appropriate retaliation.

Klaas Meijer thought maybe the Dutch football team could boycott the… Oh wait…

Remember, this is the correct response if Putin offers you tea.

Finally, legendary physicist Stephen Hawking died on Wednesday.

Warren Leight pointed out that Hawking was born on the anniversary of Galileo’s death and died on Einstein’s birthday. Time is circular, he said.

Hawking also died on Pi Day, so he is now infinite, according to Shower Thoughts.

In addition to his genius, he also had “a sense of humor as vast as the universe.”

Here he is larking about with actor Jim Carey.

David Plotz remembered that in 2009 Hawking threw a party for time travelers and no one showed up.

This week we are supported by ACCA. Join them on 27 March to talk about fintech, blockchain and ICOs.

That’s it for this week, join me again next week for more wittiness and one-liners in the Brussels Bubble Twittersphere, or join me in real life at Apero for Repeal #Repeal8Bxl next Tuesday in Grand Central.  Keep following using the hashtag #EUTweets.

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