While the Italians were trying to work out whether they had a new local government, or not, the business of their real government went on in Brussels, not least with the Agriculture Council meeting.
Here, the repercussions of the weeks of publicity over horsemeat were felt, with the “colleagues” obsessed with imposing new labelling requirements in the hope that somehow, miraculously, they would cure the problems arising from a single market in meat and meat products.
In this, we have an encapsulation of the entire European Union experiment, which makes the whole issue so rewarding for study. Faced with trying to defend the indefensible, and to make the unworkable work, the “colleagues” retreat to their fantasy world, ending up bickering about the minutia of labelling, to the extent that the Austrians wanted the life history of every morsel of mince on their packs.
Particularly aggressive, though, were the Poles, denying everything, and complaining that their industry had been unfairly pilloried. Then, this morning, up pops Polish Radio, pinning some of the blame for horsemeat burgers in the Czech Republic on a company called FVZ Deli Meat, Poland.
Some of the aggravation may stem from last year when it emerged that a criminal ring had sold road salt to bakeries and meat-processing plants.