The European Food Safety Authority has been inaugurated in Parma. The guest of honour was EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
The northern Italian city beat Finland in the bid to host the EU agency and Silvio Berlusconi is making sure everybody knows.
In another of his famous gaffes, the Italian prime minister jokingly insulted Finnish cuisine saying Barroso would now have the chance to enjoy Italian delicacies instead.
Berlusconi has fought long and hard to host the agency and said he had to use all his playboy tactics to convince Finland’s president to give up the bid. In an opening speech in Parma’s Palacio Ducale, he told an amused crowd that Barroso would now be able to taste Parma’s famous ham as opposed to Finland’s smoked reindeer.
The European Food Safety Authority has been operating from a provisional base in Brussels since its creation in 2002.
It was set up following a series of food health scares in the 1990s. Its role is to provide independent scientific advice on safety issues relating to food and animal feed.