So, Austria's screwing Turkey good and proper. Why? Well, Ostracised from Österreich's got some interesting theories about that:
"Despite appearances, I am pretty sure that Austrian chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel, who personally defines the foreign policy of the country, is actually in favour of full Turkish EU membership..."Meanwhile Tony Blair and Jack Straw are trying to look like they're making an effort (even though the UK presidency of the EU so far has been characterised by brief spurts of activity followed by complete backtracks and stalemate, so few reckon they actually care any more), Straw moaning that
"It’s a frustrating situation, but I hope and pray we may be able to reach agreement. We have a situation where 24 have decided to move forward and one has not. It is not the first time that has happened, and I am sure it will not be the last."Diddums - perhaps you shouldn't have waited until the day before the talks were due to start before trying to sort it out, Jackie? It's bad enough students handing essays in right on the deadline - but this is the future of an entire continent we're talking about. A little bit of planning's not too much to ask, surely?
And so the Empire of Priam - and as such the legendary origins of Rome and most of western European civilisation (not to mention the kingdom of Croesus, the origin of coinage and thus modern trade) - waits on the sidelines like the ugly girl in the turquoise crimpline dress, while 73% of Austrians and 53% of Europeans as a whole demonstrate their historical and cultural ignorance by declaring that "cultural differences" between Turkey and "Europe" are too big.
Update: Well would you look at that? A last minute deal...