Tweets of the Week: VLD vs Boris, Coronavirus, and Irish elections

Welcome to Euractiv’s EU Tweets of the Week

VDL issues Boris an Ozzie correction, efforts continue to stop coronavirus infection and Irish give tight result in general election.

This episode is supported by ACI Europe, find out more about them later on.

On Tuesday Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen told MEPs she was  “surprised” to hear British PM Boris Johnson talk about the Australian model. 

“Australia is a strong and like minded partner, but the European Union does not have a trade agreement with Australia. We are currently trading on WTO terms,” reported RTE’s Tony Connelly.


John Finagin pointed out that the “surprised” is in inverted commas. Von de Leyen is a highly astute operator well aware of and fully immune to Bozo’s BS.


Rebecca Denness added VDL’s understatement is masterly.


And JRB said Von der Leyen is as cool as they come. She has the wit and the will to let Johnson know exactly what he can and cannot expect.


Well quite. Adam Fleming did the tally: The European Parliament resolution on negotiations with the U.K. to be debated this morning includes the word “align” or “alignment” fifteen times.


Michel Barnier went event further telling Chancellor Sajid Javid not to ‘kid’ himself over long-term financial services deal with EU.


And you all thought Brexit was over!

Plus ca change.

On Thursday European health ministers gathered to discuss concerns about the new coronavirus or COVID19.

Euractiv’s Jorge Valero reported that the Commission will also include the coronavirus among the risks for the European economy, but concludes it’s “too early to assess the macroeconomic impact” of the virus at this stage.

While the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control deems the risk of coronavirus to citizens as “low”, the EU health ministers want to coordinate a European response, explained Jack Parrock.


The Perm Rep of the Netherlands tweeted: “the EU must be unified in its coronavirus measures and follow WHO advice.” Medical Care Minister Bruno Bruins highlighted potential medicine shortages and the risks of additional travel restrictions, but said anti-Chinese reactions are intolerable.


Another casualty is MobileWorldCongress2020, which was cancelled at the last minute. From what I can see, because of pull-outs from major tech corporations over the supposed threat of coronavirus rather than any really substantive risk assessment,” said David Murakami Wood.


And with all the fake news about the illness floating around, theWorld Health Organisation was forced to clarify: Does drinking alcohol prevent the new coronavirus?: No. No it does not.


That’s a shame.

Our sponsor this week, ACI EUROPE – representing European airports – brought a little Valentine’s joy to our day today, launching their new online presence with an animation to melt the hardest of institutional hearts…check it out.

Finally last Saturday Ireland went to the polls for a general election. And to say it was “close” would be to deploy Von der Leyen levels of understatement.

Fine Gael got 20% Fianna Fail, 22%, and Sinn Fein 24% of the vote. Meaning forming a coalition will be tense:


The shift to the left, including the swing to Sinn Féin, says most about voters’ anger at the two incumbent big parties reported The Journal. 


But with both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael ruling out working with Sinn Fein, will they be able to work together in a grand coalition?

Siobhán Dowling reckoned: You can’t really call a coalition in Ireland “grand,” you’d have to come up with something else.


While DG Meme thought a coalition balance would look something like this:


But Mary Mc Eneaney was worried that the post-election debate so far, has provided an unwelcome platform for nasty undertones of bitterness, superiority and bias rather than the humility, acceptance and compromise needed for government formation.


While Cormac Moore thought it might come down to this.


But it being Oscars’ week Martini Seltzermayr reckoned the best acting award should go to the Irish Freedom Party for pretending they didn’t lose something, when they really did, quite badly.


Not one, single candidate elected.

And that’s it for this episode! Next week we want you to send in your favorite Tweets of the Week using the hashtag #EUTweets and we’ll give a big shout out to the funniest!

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