‘Thank you, President Macron for your speech about the European Army project. I am sure many of the representatives of the 27 participating nations will wish to ask questions………..
‘Monsieur Macron, a question please?’
‘On behalf of Italy may I enquire as to the cost of this proposed European Army?’
‘That has yet to be calculated. There are many things to consider. And of course we are waiting for the Architects to present the construction costs of the EU Army HQ building in Brussels. Naturally, this must be an impressive and inevitably costly, architectural statement.’
‘This all sounds expensive. Especially when most of us around this table failed to meet the financial obligations of NATO. Would it not be sensible to commit to NATO?’
‘I do not trust this President Trump.’
‘But the USA is the only military superpower in the world. Trump will not always be president. And, if you recall, the Americans liberated many of the counties here today in two world wars. Not to forget the Canadians, and dare I mention the British. Did not all these nations storm the Normandy beaches?
‘Pah! That is history. We must look to the future. Anyway, the British, they will not be involved in this enterprise. Oui, Spain, you have a question?’
‘Si, President Macron. Your country appears to be taking the leading role in this enterprise. What makes you consider France to be qualified.’
‘France has a magnificent military tradition, Señor. Do not forget the great victories of Napoleon: Montenotte, Austerlitz, Montmirail… the list is endless. Belgium you wish to ask a question?’
‘We would wish have neutral status.’
‘Ha! It did not help you before, nien? President Macron. There is the question of what common language will be used? It will be important for efficient battlefield communications.’
‘A very good question from our German colleague. It will be French, naturally!
‘But we all speak English. Are we not speaking English at this meeting?’
‘As the Americans or the British are not involved why speak English. It will be French! Next question s’l vous plaît?’
‘What marching style will be adopted by this new army? We Greeks have a very particular style. It would not be compatible with the German goose step for example.’
‘I am not familiar with Greek marching.’
‘It is very elegant. But I must admit slow. Very slow. The Italians would arrive at a battlefield many days before us!
‘Ça alors! Is it similar to the ‘Ministry of Silly Walks’ sketch on the British comedy show ‘Monty Python.
‘Oui, oui! The comedian John Cleese. He made that comedy ‘Fawlty Towers’. There was a very funny episode involving a German guest……..’
‘Mein Gott! Do not mention zee Var!’