Pomp and Pageantry, Strasbourg Style

On Monday the (unlucky?) 13th of July, in the Louise Weiss Square at the European parliament in Strasbourg, a formal ceremony will mark the opening of the new 2009/14 parliament, and celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first election, by universal suffrage, of the European parliament (previously it was an appointed body), which took place in 1979.
 
The programme will commence at 3:25 p.m., and at 3:40 they will have the Raising of the European Flag by a Eurocorps detachment (did a shiver of apprehension run down your spine just then?).  This will (of course) be followed by a performance of the European National Anthem, Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”, provided by the City of Strasbourg Symphony Orchestra along with the “Petits Chanteurs de Strasbourg”, the Youth Choir of the National Rhine Opera.  Then there will be a rousing rendition of the Overture from the opera “La Forza del Destino” by Giuseppe Verdi (a.k.a. Joe Green).  This title of course translates as “The Force of Destiny”, and its metaphorical implications will not be lost on you.  Abandon hope all ye who enter here.
 
Fortunately I don’t plan to arrive in Strasbourg that day until around 6:00 p.m. — otherwise I should probably throw up.
 
You will recall that when pressed to the wire to explain the differences between the defunct European Constitution and the not-quite-defunct Lisbon Treaty, euro-apologists can offer nothing better that “Well we’ve dropped the flag and the anthem, symbols of nationhood”.  If they’ve dropped the flag, why is a detachment of Eurocorps raising it in Strasbourg on Monday?  I only ask because I want to know.

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1 Response to Pomp and Pageantry, Strasbourg Style

  1. chris southern says:

    Certain 20th centuary tyrants would be proud of this lot, the future doesn’t look bright and it certainly doesn’t look orange!

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