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  • Writer's pictureBerlaymonster

Big Telco, Barroso ribbed in leaked Neelie farewell vid

Gone. But not forgotten.

Europe’s telecom dinosaurs came in for a teasing for having got “nothing” out of digital commissioner Neelie Kroes during her time in office, in a farewell rendition of ‘Call me, maybe’ by her staff.

An internal video of the (excruciating) “Call me, Neelie” (see what they did there?) appeared online on the YouTubes briefly – just long enough to jot down some of the lyrics and to incur life-long aural and optical scarring. A *hat-tip* to EU tech-watcher @BrusselsGeek off of the Twitters for spotting it on the Webs.

A veritable phalanx of officials took part in the good-natured video.

In one verse, a group of some of the most senior in Kroes’ cabinet and civil-service staff boast that she “gave telcos nothing at all” during her five-years.

Even the head of the incumbents telco association ETNO, Luigi Gambardella gets a mention.

“You made Luigi squeal,

Just for a meeting that’s real,

Next time you’ll make him kneel

We’ll get him out of your way.”

A popular guy in the commission’s telco team it seems.

And in a further reference to the ‘old’ telecom companies Luigi represents, the song goes:

“For all the old boys You were so nasty They won’t miss you”

Neelie’s former boss features too.

“Barroso was slowing,

Torn dreams, tiredness showing…”

And Neelie herself comes in for a gentle jibe as well.

In front of a wall of some of the Dutchwoman’s more famous verbal tortures, her own chief of staff (who masterminded the video) stares quizzically into his phone, singing:

“It’s so hard to get you

First time, Neelie,

Could you repeat that?

Be clearer maybe.”

And the vision of the most senior staff member Director General Robert Madelin in Kroes-style drag is one that is seared on my retinas for eternity.

So it’s only fair I sear it upon yours too.

The irony that the commission’s “Digital” departments weren’t quite tech savvy enough to navigate YouTube’s privacy settings is perhaps reflected nicely in the stanza that says it’s important to “fail once maybe”.

With the stress, no doubt, on the ‘maybe’…


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