Don't laugh. It's (video) politics

Article published on Nov. 20, 2007
From the magazine
Article published on Nov. 20, 2007
European politicans occasionally star in dramatically hilarious or simply grotesque scenes - are ETA terrorists a great nation? Was the Russian Breznev actually the president of the United States?

The Spanish right wing recognises the nation of ETA

Six months ago, Mariano Rajoy, the (particularly nationalist) leader of the Spanish Opposition, committed a slip that was unimaginable in a leader of the Spanish right wing, saying that 'ETA' and its Basque terrorists were 'a great nation.'

Perhaps it was all down to the shock caused by the live helicopter accident that he experienced a year earlier in Madrid. He came close to losing his life in front of the cameras as he attended a trial of Madrid's emergency services.

Hallelujah! At last, the PCUS rises to power in the United States

German politician Edmund Stoiber, veteran president of the wealthy region of Bavaria and candidate for the German chancellory against Schröder, reminisces in his speech about when … Breznev was President of the United States! Of course, we all know that Lenin was the young Uncle Sam.

Yeltsin wasn’t the only one who liked to hit the bottle

Alexander Kwasniewski, the former Socialist president of Poland, gives a lecture at the University of Ukraine to students who record the leader’s drunken state on their mobiles whilst he apologises for having those two drinks too many. Look out for his final farewell with flowers held high. He’s the champion: he’s won the … Zubrowka Cup!

Sarkozy: 'I'm teetotal'

Legendary video footage from the press conference by French president Nicolas Sarkozy, following his meeting with the Russian leader Vladimir Putin during the G8 summit in spring 2007. And he who boasts that he never touches a drop of alcohol!

Comedy in Italian politics

Monumental electoral video of a Sicilian candidate at the last Italian parliamentary elections. His motto: Politics is sad, let’s make it happy: protest with me. A warning to all those who cross his path: he looks like he’s no stranger to the use of violence!

Beppe Grillo at the European parliament

The Italian comedian Beppe Grillo managed to deliver his announcement of 'Vaffanculo Day' ('Fuck You Day') as far as the European Parliament – met by roars of laughter from some and jeers from others. His humorous and yet indignant complaint about corruption in Italian politics is perhaps the Italians' last-ditch attempt at overcoming their present discredited political system.

(Photo homepage: European Commission)