Greek MEP’s name has Europeans in muddle

STRASBOURG (Reuters) – After twice mangling the multisyllabic name of a Greek European Parliament member who authored a report on Iraq, British Foreign Minister Jack Straw gave up and apologized to the speaker. «I did Ancient Greek at school, but it was written rather than oral,» Straw quipped. European External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner also stumbled when trying to pronounce the name of Giorgos Dimitrakopoulos [a New Democracy MEP], who grinned and applauded at each fumbling attempt. Parliament President Josep Borrell rode to the rescue, offering the speakers Greek lessons at Parliament’s expense if it would be helpful. But German lawmaker Elmar Brok, chairman of the foreign affairs committee of which Dimitrakopoulos is a member, said: «We tend to call the rapporteur George. It’s much easier.»

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.