The Parliament Magazine's week that was - stylewatch special

PMHQ's take on what really mattered this week in Brussels and beyond.


06 Feb 2015

Triumph for diplomacy of the week

German and Greek finance ministers Wolfgang Schäuble and Yanis Varoufakis held a slightly fractious press conference in Berlin following what appeared to be a less than fruitful set of talks over Athens' financial woes.

Schäuble opened proceedings by saying that the two bean counters had "agreed to disagree" over the proposals of Syriza's anti-austerity coalition government. However, Varoufakis swiftly contradicted his German counterpart, asserting that the pair did not "even agree to disagree".

The Greek minister then summed it all up by saying, "We did not reach agreement because it was never on the cards that we would."


Latvian presidency watch

The frankly adorable Latvian presidency maintain their rich vein of form by taking credit for the weather in Brussels. 


No such thing as a stupid question?

In a discussion this week on the parliament's administrative budget a frustrated MEP has complained about the large number of written questions to the commission. At an estimated cost of €1600 per enquiry, and with parliament's 751 members afforded five questions per month, the potential annual bill for MEPs questions could reach €72,000,000.

Thanks goodness then that MEPs only utilise this procedure for procuring vital information on topics of genuine import, including:

Francesco Enrico Speroni's concern over the fashion company Louis Vuitton reportedly setting "a limit on the number of its products (in particular women's handbags) that individual customers may purchase in its stores".

Robert Kilroy Silk's pointing of the finger over a UK retailer's alleged use of "mirrors that deliberately distort women's shapes so as to make them look slimmer in M&S clothes than they actually are?"

And finally Mario Borghezio asking the question that was on absolutely no one else's lips regarding any potential EU directives on "enabling vehicles to be fitted with technology that allows direction-finding towards Mecca, or any requests to update and adapt current global guidance systems to ‘Islamic’ satellites?"


Image that can never be unseen of the week

Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker once again showing he is a lover not a fighter. This week he shared a beautiful moment with Simonetta Sommaruga, president of the Swiss confederation. "Hey Simi", Jean-Claude allegedly whispered in her ear, "what do you say you and I get together around a nice fondue and swap some tax stories?".

It seems he has a type. Here he is with former president of the Swiss confederation, Doris Leuthard, in 2010. The commission chief has a history of extravagant shows of affection for world leaders.


This week in fashion

With just a fortnight to go until London fashion week, the entries are coming in thick and fast. Here are our ones to watch as the competition intensifies.

We’ll begin with this delightful number, from the 'Mrs Tusk' parody range, which is a hot favourite to wow the judges. You can never go too wrong with a science theme, but geeky looks set to be the new sexy when this space inspired masterpiece is unleashed.



With much talk of a potential 'Brexit' ahead, an EU-themed entry for fashion week is certainly daring. Watch out Eurosceptics, Uncle Europe is coming to town.





Since being elected, it's not just a new negotiation style that new Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras has brought to the table, he's also pioneering a new smart casual look. This effort by Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi to get Tsipras to conform was rightly rebuffed.



They may be united on the issue of overcoming Greece's debt struggle but the real battle lines ahead are in the fashion stakes between Tsipras and his finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.

Tsipras is pipped at the post as our 'style icon this week' by his finance minister, who has dazzled EU leaders by making a break from the conservative tailoring of his political peers.

We particularly liked this leather jacket and eye-catching untucked blue shirt combo from Varoufakis' trip to Downing Street.


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