He puts Tolstoy and the Duracell bunnies to shame.
Friso Roscam-Abbing, European Commission spokesman for justice commissioner Franco Frattini, seems to think that as ‘speaking’ is in his job title, he needs to do it all day every day.
There is barely a European Commission press briefing goes by (and they are every day, mind), without an intervention by the verbose Dutchman, keen to hawk his commissioner’s wares on detention centres, police cooperation, immigation and the like.
Worthy subjects indeed, but not of universal appeal, it must be noted. And of even less allure when briefed with such relentless attrition.
His exasperated senior colleagues do their best. He has been instructed in in-house meetings to try and cut back on the verbiage. And frequently on the briefing platform the head spoke will introduce Roscam-Abbing’s spots with a pointed reminder that it is to be a ‘brief’ one.
Not a word in Friso’s vocabulary.
At one particular midday press meeting this week, Roscam-Abbing – yet again – wanted to ‘bring something to the attention’ of the assembled hacks, and once again was reminded to be ‘brief’.
Fifteen minutes later only came the respite as he returned, purple with exhaustion, to his seat.
It almost makes one pine for the days when commission spokesmen didn’t want to do their job at all.