Summit for one
The self-delusion of European leaders as they wrangle over yet another treaty
Jan 7th 2012 | from the print edition
“DINNER for one”, a 1963 British comedy sketch barely known in its country of origin, is Germans’ favourite television viewing on New Year’s Eve. Year after year they delight at the sight of Miss Sophie celebrating her 90th birthday with only her butler, James, for company. He is commanded to follow “the same procedure as last year”, going around the table impersonating each of the now-dead dinner guests, raising toast after toast and becoming ever more drunk.
As one awful year for the euro zone made way for another, the German television network ARD digitally retouched the original sketch to create a spoof of European Union summits. Angela Merkel was the bossy dowager. Nicolas Sarkozy was the faithful butler, taking on the roles of departed leaders: George Papandreou of Greece, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero of Spain and, although he is still in office, David Cameron of Britain. (Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi is a tiger-skin carpet on the floor.) The joke was clear: summits are empty charades, only Mrs Merkel matters and Mr Sarkozy is her comical servant.
Read the full article here: The Economist
- Merkel and Sarkozy in reworking of sketch Dinner For One – BBC News (bbc.co.uk)
- Merkel and Sarkozy in YouTube hit (bbc.co.uk)
- Nicolas Sarkozy becomes Angela Merkel’s tipsy butler in YouTube satire (telegraph.co.uk)
- New Year video messages (namawinelake.wordpress.com)
- Nicolas Sarkozy becomes Angela Merkel’s tipsy butler in ¿Dinner For One¿ YouTube satire (dailymail.co.uk)
- Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy face new Euro battles (guardian.co.uk)
- Sarkozy, Merkel Meet Monti in Rome Jan. 20 for Pre-Summit Talks (businessweek.com)