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Swabia's man in Brussels

Appeared in "taz", 31. Oktober 2009

Von Autor Dr. Rainer Nübel

Once known for such faux pas as “the pizza affair,” “the Filbinger affair,” and “the tea sieve affair,” the southern German right-of-center political icon Günther Oettinger is now the EU’s commissioner for the environment. Videos of his attempts to speak English consistently go viral.

European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger: a humorless right-wing politician with a face like a mask. Best known for drunken clowning, libellous vulgarity, mangling the English language like no other, posthumously enlisting Nazis in the resistance, and minor Calabrese connections. Or is it just that journalists don’t get his jokes? Many assumed CDU chief Angela Merkel sent him to Brussels to unload a national liability. Events may be proving them wrong ….