Tweets of the Week: Oettinger, golden passports and Mamoudou Gassama

This week, gaffe-prone Günther rides again, golden passports are met with disdain and Malian hero earns widespread acclaim.

Italy remains in the news this week as political machinations mean it is still without a government. So who better to wade into the fray than gaffe-prone Günther Oettinger.

In a Deutsche Welle interview the German Commissioner reportedly said that “the markets will teach Italians to vote for the right thing!”

European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker was quick to distance himself from the remarks. “It is the Italians and only the Italians who will decide on the future of their country,” said chief spokesman Margaritis Schinas.

Donald Tusk appealed to all EU institutions to please respect the voters. “We are there to serve them, not to lecture them.”

Berlaymonster though it was a case of Kommissar Grosseklappe Rides Again.

But it all turned out to have been a mistranslation!

“In my first Tweet on the exclusive Oettinger Interview I misquoted the commissioner. That‘s why I deleted it. It was meant to be a rapid reaction summary of the interview. I apologise for the confusion and the mistake,” explained Bernd Thomas Riegert‏ in a mea culpa.

Sven Giegold shared the correct quote.

Stephen Kinsella said it would be a travesty if Oetti is finally torpedoed by a really crass stupid thing that he DIDN’T quite say.

….no it wouldn’t Stephen – it would be hilarious!

It’s a Strasbourg week and so-called Golden Visas were high on the agenda as MEPs from all political groups condemned the selling of passports.

Tanja Fajon said EU citizenships should not be for sale. How can some member states justify refusing to accept a single refugee fleeing war or persecution on one hand, while selling citizenships to potential criminals she asked.

Sophie In’t Veld said there was a need for strict and harmonised European rules. “It is national competence” is no justification for state-facilitated money laundering.

Robert Szile said countries were selling benefits including the freedom of movement for “dirty money.”

Ilkka Penttinen‏ joked that he’d never seen a Parliamentary debate get so hot as it ended with a fire alarm.

A compromise agreement on posted workers reform promoted by Emmanuel Macron was supported by 70% of MEPs

Marianne Thyssen welcomed the vote saying the spirit of compromise & shared resolve can lead to a fair agreement for all.

Linda McAvan said the new rules would ensure workers receive the same pay for the same work across the EU.

Jude Kirton-Darling Agnes Jongerius said the law will end the conflation of free movement with the undercutting of local workers by EU migrants. UK gov must implement the reforms into UK law so British workers can benefit too.

And Pascal Hansens decided to name and shame those who voted against.

Finally in Paris, Malian immigrant Mamoudou Gassama – now dubbed the black Spiderman – performed an amazing feat to save a toddler hanging from the side of a building.

He was later thanked by President Macron and granted French citizenship.

Man, that new French citizenship test looks tough said Ben Coates!

Nicanory Muhando reckoned other immigrants would follow suit.

Tjeerd Royaards wondered if it was a case of good migrant, bad migrant?

Kim Willsher‏ said the fact that Gassama was an illegal immigrant makes his actions doubly heroic because drawing attention to himself meant risking deportation.

Many on Twitter pointed out that media glossed over the fact that the hero is Muslim.
Imagine how different it would have been if he committed a crime!

And more credit should also go to another Muslim hero this week, the cleaning lady taken hostage in Liege who convinced a lone wolf gunman to spare schoolchildren during an attack in which he murdered two police and a bystander.

This week we want to give a big shout out to all the women and men of Ireland who voted in last week’s referendum to repeal the eighth and grant abortion rights to women. Well done! Northern Ireland next!

And that’s it for this week. Join me again next week for more heroics, hysterics and hectic happenings in the Brussels Bubble Twittersphere.

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