On World Refugee Day 2017, spokesman Margaritis Schinas started the European Commission’s daily press briefing by pointing out that the EU is the number one donor worldwide to refugee causes, for example providing €10 billion for the Syrian crisis.
Moving closer to home, Schinas told a Belgian reporter the Commission had “no intention to ban Belgian fries and another kind of fries,” after a Flemish minister sent a letter to the European commissioner for health, warning that ongoing legislation to curb the chemical acrylamide for health reasons could endanger how Belgian fries are made.
“The College is very keen on culinary aspects and cultural heritages in Europe,” Schinas answered with a smile. “Les frites, c’est chic!” Schinas added, taking inspiration from a 1978 song by the U.S. band Chic.
On a more serious note, Schinas decided to stick to the Commission’s long-standing policy of not engaging in “any sort of re-interpretation” or any kind of “speculation” on the Brexit talks after the first round on Monday.
The weekly College of Commissioners on Wednesday is expected to propose new transparency rules for tax intermediaries, accountants and banks. A discussion on the Commission’s reflection paper on the future of EU’s finances is also expected.
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