Latest Issue

Brussels diary

The Maoist past of the new commission president. How the EPP group in the European parliament got him the job. And the Irish prefer champagne

By Manneken Pis   August 2004

Once a Maoist? When he was Nato secretary general, George Robertson once amused himself at a White House dinner by regaling George W Bush and Donald Rumsfeld with stories of the radical pasts of their European allies. Robertson started by pointing out that he himself had cut his political teeth demonstrating against American military bases; Javier Solana had opposed Spain joining Nato; Otto Schily, the German interior minister, had been the defence lawyer for the Baader-Meinhof gang. As consternation grew around the dining table, Robertson reached his pi?ce de r?sistance – the Portuguese prime minister, Jos? Manuel Dur?o Barroso, was…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect