David has 595 apples…
EU leaders are to use apples to help gain clarity on budget negotiations this week.
Diplomats have shipped in a lorryload of the fruit for the summit, which is supposed to agree the EU’s next seven-year spending plan.
The sheer scale of the figures and accounting complications have left many European leaders and finance ministers unable to grasp the substance of talks to date.
It’s suspected that previous summit discussions on the issue were based on a lot of negotiators just ‘blagging it’ so as not to look daft.
On arrival at this week’s summit, each leader will receive a mountain of apples representative of their country’s national budget. Irish officials chairing the talks will then reallocate some of the apples according to the budget scenarios under discussion.
An early draft of the summit proposals, seen by BM, say:
“David has 600 apples. David gives 15 apples to Herman and Jose. Angela and her friends give 4 apples to David. Herman and Jose give 6 apples to David. David now has 595 apples. Is this: a) an outrageous drain on David’s fruitbowl b) an excuse for David to choose who he gives his apples to c) still plenty of apples, David should stop his interminable whingeing. Kuñardocz.”
One summit official, asked if the apples represented appropriations for commitments or appropriations for payments, said, “AAAAaaaargh did you HAVE to ask me that? I understood it for a moment there. You’ve gone and thrown me right off. Got to start again now. 1… 2… 3… “
Nevertheless, Irish diplomats are holding out for a fruitful outcome.
See below an updated video guide to the EU budget talks, further to BM’s instructional video in November:
BM warning: this apple analogy is not compatible with other fruit analogies.