Critics ridiculed European Union bureaucrats on Saturday for taking time off fighting the euro zone’s debt crisis to impose strict new rules on how restaurants serve olive oil.
From January 1, 2014, eateries will be banned from serving oil to diners in small glass jugs or dipping bowls, and forced instead to use pre-sealed, non-refillable bottles that must be disposed of when empty…
…Critics say the rules are a sop to Europe’s olive oil producers, and will only add to the frustration felt by many towards a bloated EU bureaucracy regarded as out of touch with the concerns of ordinary Europeans…
The Commission said its proposal was supported by 15 out of 27 EU member governments, including the continent’s main olive oil producers – Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal – which are among the countries worst affected by the euro crisis…
German newspaper Sueddetsche Zeitung described the plan as “the weirdest decision since the legendary curvy cucumber regulation”, referring to now-defunct EU rules on the shape of fruit and vegetables sold in supermarkets.
The regulations are based on rules in force in Portugal since 2005, and are part of an EU initiative to help olive oil producers hit by rising operating costs and falling profits in recent years.
But Enzo Sica, owner of Italian restaurant Creche des Artistes close to the EU quarter of Brussels, said the rules would prevent him from buying his extra virgin olive oil direct from a traditional supplier in Italy.
“They say they’re thinking about consumers, but this will increase costs for us and our customers as well. In this time of crisis, surely they should be worrying about other things rather than stupid stuff like this.”
Who says Europeans can’t and won’t learn from Americans. The EU is simply following the examples of social stupidity expressed in reactionary regulations embraced so thoroughly by Republicans and a few other idiots in Congress.
EU hacks understand they’d be thrown out of office if they tried to pass useless laws banning medical care and women’s rights – so, they pick on absurdities which will at least get the support of anachronistic segments of Euro-capitalism.
UPDATE: Olive oil still drives the pols bonkers – but, uproar from citizens stopped this particular bit of stupidity from succeeding.