Monday, April 25, 2005

Fischer Filibusters

Joschka Fischer, the German Foreign Minister, is still going strong after over an hour and a half of his stream-of-consciousness-type statement - interspersed with shouted soundbites - to the inquiry into the Visa Scandal. The main points he's made so far are:

- the scandal has been gravely exaggerated by the opposition;
- the Visa policy as initiated by the Greens (allowing unprecedented freedom to travel to Germany) was a continuation of the previous government's arrangements;
- the Orange Revolution in Ukraine could not have happened without this policy;
- the policy was fine in itself but was misapplied by officials in Kiev (whence most of the illegal immigrants originated).

It will be interesting to see if opposition supineness allows Fischer to get away with this travesty.

The early signs are not good - the chairman of the inquiry, asking Fischer how long he proposed to continue with his marathon of equivocation, wasn't answered. Fischer just said he would finish ploughing through the pile of documents he had brought with him. It looks as though Fischer will indeed bore everyone into submission.

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