Far from having nothing to do with man, as Major ordered, the pigs have actually surpassed man, as is clear when Mr Pilkington congratulates Napoleon on managing to run a farm in a crueller way than he does – and Napoleon says that further restrictions are planned. If anything, the pigs are worse: they have systematically violated the Commandments while claiming to support the revolution and have abused the animals’ trust, leaving them in a worse position than at the start of the book.
Crystal whisky glasses, silver candelabras and fine china decorated with gold EU flags to form glittering dinner service for Brussels’ ascendant diplomatic corps
European Union diplomats plan to dine in imperial style, by ordering a glittering dinner service that could cost as much as £2 million.
The European External Action Service, the EU’s foreign office, will buy a “sparkling” array of crystal glassware, silver cutlery and fine china to host banquets and dinner parties for visiting dignitaries, the Daily Telegraph has learnt.
The tableware – to cater for up to 3,360 officials and guests at the EEAS’ Brussels headquarters and 140 embassies around the world – will come embellished with the Flag of Europe, engraved on the drinking glasses and painted in gold on the “top quality” crockery.
Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign policy chief
There are also plans to buy hundreds of silver ice buckets, drinks trays and candelabras and thousands of glasses for whisky, brandy and champagne.
The dinner service, which stands to be larger and nearly ten times the cost of one recently purchased for the White House, marks the coming of age of the EEAS as a fully-fledged diplomatic corps.
Created by the 2009 Lisbon Treaty, it is headed by High Representative Federica Mogherini, a former Young Communist who became the Italian Foreign Minister. The service has a staff of 3,400, a budget of 793 million euros (£550 million) and outposts covering the Seychelles, Australia, Canada and Kazakhstan.
It is running more than a dozen military and civil missions worldwide, disburses hundreds of millions of pounds in EU aid, and was at the heart of nuclear diplomacy with Iran. It is now preparing a major military offensive against people traffickers in Libya – known as EUNAVFOR Med – and it is increasingly highly regarded by Washington.
The EU is drawing up plans for military action against smugglers near Libya
It is also viewed with grave suspicion among some Tories, who fear it is undermining the independence of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The EEAS has encouraged nations to shut down separate national embassies and “embed” diplomats in its outposts, and used the “savings” to justify its own budget increases.
The Telegraph has seen tender documents for a credit line worth up to 200 million euros (£138 million) to purchase property worth as much as 450 million euros (£312 million) around the world.The EEAS said it would save money in the long-term by ending the need to rent buildings.
The fine dining comes as other arms of the EU instruct member states, including Britain, to cut their public deficits.
“If we need further confirmation of the pretentions and aspirations to grandeur of this organisation, this dinner service is it. It is absolutely appalling,” said Geoffrey Van Orden, a Conservative MEP and retired British Army Brigadier.
“We must put a scythe to the costs of the EEAS before it gets out of hand. We can no longer tolerate these false ambitions, not least when we are cutting back our own embassies.”
“This is just a blatant provocation to the Greek people,” said Giorgious Lougiakis, a taxi driver in Athens. Vat on foods including beef, breakfast cereal and cooking oil jumps from 13 per cent to 23 per cent on Monday, under the terms of EU bailout plans.
Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, yesterday warned that the surge of the radical left and right was creating the conditions for “revolution” in Europe.
“It was always the same game before the biggest tragedies in our European history, this tactical alliance between radicals from all sides,” he told the Financial Times.
Meanwhile, his predecessor, Hermann Van Rompuy, will enter the ranks of the aristocracy. King Philippe of Belgium is to make him a Count, according to local media.
Extract from the tender for crockery and glassware
The tender was published on 23 April this year, with potential bids opened on Tuesday this week. It comes in three parts, and the total value of the contract over four years will be worth one and a half to three million euros (£1.04 – £2.08 million.)
EEAS sources stressed the framework agreement was a precursor to actual orders, with the final quantity and cost of purchases is yet to be determined. They insisted the deal was “efficient and cost-saving” as it is cheaper than individual embassies buying their own dinner sets on the local market.
The porcelain service will cost up to 550,000 euros (£384,000) and could comprise up to 3,360 sets of dinner plates, soup plates and ice cream dishes, as well as hundreds of pie dishes, salad bowls and coffee pots, according to documents sent to potential bidders.
Extract of tender document for the EU’s tableware
They must be made of “top quality” fine white china, in a “round, sober, classical design.” Each item is to be painted with a gold rim, and a gold Flag of Europe.
The crystal service will cost up to 450,000 euros (£314,000), and could comprise of up to 3,360 sets of glasses for wine, water, whisky, champagne, brandy and sherry. They must be “top quality crystal with a minimum lead content of 24 per cent”, the documents say, and must “retain their sparkle” with use. Each carries an engraved flag.
The bulk of the cost falls in the silverware, for which up to two million euros (£1.39 million) has been set aside.
The knives and forks will “be simple, with a discreet decorative element or raised motif” and be “manufactured from top-quality silver-plated metal” of up to 33 microns in thickness, while a thinner plate is permitted for decorative items
Orders could run to 280 salad serving sets, 140 sets of cake knifes, soup ladles, sugar tongs and serving trays, 140 ice buckets, 420 salt cellars and pepperpots and 280 candelabras.
Eye for detail: officials stipulated the thickness of the silverplate on the candelabra
Bids must be presented “free of all duties, taxes and other charges, including VAT, as the European Union is exempt from such charges under Articles 3 and 4 of the Protocol on the privileges and immunities of the European Union”, according to the documents.
Throughout history, great diplomatic services have asserted their power through their tableware.
Napoleon paid personal attention to the design of piece of his headquarters collection, commissioned in 1807 to depict the sites of his victories, and produced by the Sevres factory at a cost of 65,000 francs.
The State Dinner Service used by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office comprises 19,000 pieces of silver and crockery, and was largely compiled in the 1920s and 1930s, when a quarter of the globe was coloured red. Now, British diplomats are said to pay for meals with contacts out of their own salaries after hundreds of millions of pounds of spending cuts that has seen consulates closed and staff laid off.
The Obama China collection, which was funded by a private foundation dedicated to the White House upkeep
Successive US Presidents have also commissioned a dinner service, bearing their seal and reflecting the colours of their home state.
President Obama’s striking blue and gold set, unveiled in April at a state banquet with Japan, is modest compared to Ms Mogherini’s – comprising just 320 places and costing $367,000 (£235,000). The funds came from a private foundation, sparing the taxpayer.
“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.”
― George Orwell,
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