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Saturday May 18, 2013

It’s time to stop oiling the wheels of Brussels

That’s it. Until now I’ve laughed off the bizarre and batty edicts imposed by Brussels bureaucrats such as outlawing bendy bananas and cucumbers, denying that water is hydrating, that prunes are not laxatives and that eggs cannot be sold by number only weight. Even the ban on feeding kitchen scraps to chickens hasn’t rattled my coop. There may be a potential two year prison sentence for that little misdemeanour but I say bring it on, Brussels! Come over to Majorca with your arrest warrants and see how far you get in my rural valley.

But this new EU directive banning olive oil jugs and dipping bowls from restaurant tables goes too far. Here in Majorca, pa amb oli, bread and oil, is part of the staple diet, and served with jamon Serrano, manchego cheese and tomato. A small jug of locally produced oil always accompanies the dish for those like me who can’t get enough of the golden nectar.

Now those dastardly fiends in the nerve centre of Brussels are demanding that glass and terracotta jugs and bowls of artisanal oil be replaced with pre-packaged, factory issued bottles with-saints preserve us- tamper proof lids. Thousands of small producers could lose their livelihoods while fat cat large industrial operators coin in. And while the eurocrat loons were deliberating over this new madness and the olive oil producing PIGS- Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain-squealed in horror, what said Britain? I’ll tell you what: nowt. That’s right. Lacking the cojones to pass any comment on the matter, Britain cowardly abstained from voting. Shame on the home country.

How the Greeks must be calling for vengeance from their ancestors, those ancient Athenians who, with their trusty lekythions- those much revered pottery flasks of oil-anointed the dead, made sacrifices and cleansed their bodies. Here at least in Spain, there’ll be a fight or rather a snort of derision at the very thought of the EU ever hoping to impose the rule. In Britain, of course it will be a different matter entirely.

So what next from these cheerless zealots? A ban on bread baskets, carafes of water and flaçons of wine, vinegar bottles, dishes of home cultivated olives and almonds, and butter pats not hermetically sealed by factory workers in surgical gloves? Where or where will it end?

No amount of oil will ever be enough to pour on the troubled waters flowing from Brussels so mutiny we must. Indeed, as an opening gambit I shall defy the ban on barley straw in ponds and wait for the men in suits to fly over here to fish it out.
Fight we must against this chilling infringement on our personal liberties, safe in the knowledge that it is always the squeaky wheel that gets the oil.

Please feel free to comment on this article. All comments are moderated, so it will appear after I have checked it. Thanks!

  1. Let me be clear, I am not a hypocrite expat living in Spain and deriding everything that comes out of EU. Thanks to EU and free movement of people, goods & services, we escaped the drudgery of big corporate life and are enjoying the delights of living in Spain and running 3 successful businesses. So count me in as pro-EU, but really Brussels has gone too far this time.

    We produce our own oil and serve it to our guests and sell it as souvenirs to take back home. At meal times the oil is served in traditional bottles and for dipping we serve it in terracotta tapas dishes (with homemade bread of course). Our oil is cold pressed, no chemicals or heat is used to extract the oil or filter it, certified to be Extra Virgin and is of the highest quality. Men (and women) have killed for less in the past and countries have been invaded. It is as Roman Gods intended olive oil to be. The cost of producing 250 ml of it exceeds the cost of 5 litres of so called Extra Virgin oil from your local supermarket. Yes it is expensive and yes we serve it at the table for free.

    Of course you won’t get this at your local tavern selling “Menu de Dia” at €8 per head, what do you expect Mr Ignoramus Eurocrat? If they did, they will go out of business. Of course they will serve the olive oil from Makro bought in 20 litre jerry cans, but they cannot afford to do anything else you numerically ignorant MEP sitting in Brussels spending my tax money.

    No we WILL NOT put it in sealed bottles (they are for sale if you want to buy one after tasting it with your meal) and you can shove this new law where the sun does not shine, i.e., Brussels Parliament as I hear it pisses down with rain most days and sun is a nostalgic dream over there.

    * by Ali | May 19, 12:38 pm