What a day! French President Nicolas Sarkozy was in Brussels intent on curbing those who speculate on food and other basic commodities. With the cost of many basic items spiralling in recent months both he and EU Commission President José Manuel Durâo Barroso gave impassioned speeches about the need for tighter regulation of the market. Many experts, however, remain pessimistic about their chances of reining in the speculators.
At the same time, the issue of Greek default was once again rearing its ugly head with EU finance ministers frantically gathering for an emergency summit to discuss the on-going euro debt crisis. Elsewhere Mario Draghi, who is seeking to head the European Central Bank, was giving evidence to the European Parliament in a bid to garner support for his appointment.
With so much going on, one could have been forgiven for forgetting that it was also a very important day for our own little shuttle. Tuesday 14th June was the official presentation of the team and opening of the new euronews bureau in Brussels.
Throughout the morning last minute preparations for the grand unveiling, (the office is directly opposite the EU Commission), were taking place, while we, the journalists, were trying our level best to ignore the arriving guests and focus on what was happening just over the road. And then the long awaited opening finally came. Our colleagues at euronews in Lyon could also watch the ceremony via a live feed.
To much fanfare, Vice President of the Commission and Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding led proceedings. “Finally you came where you always belonged, she said. ‘‘Because in your name there is Euro and News, which is undeniably true, and here in Brussels is where the news from Europe is born.”
She also encouraged us to ‘have differences’ with our new neighbours at the EU Commission and EU Council, insisting it was a sign of independent journalism. Thank you Madame Reding, it is a goal all of us here in Brussels and also Lyon intend to achieve.