Europhiles have a peculiar habit of crediting "Europe" - though it's never entirely clear what the concept refers to - for achievements ranging from more cosmopolitan restaurants in Britain to "so much to choose from in the supermarket" to world peace (well, we're not quite there yet).
However, France's new Europe Minister Laurent Wauquiez seems to have taken this to a new level.
He told a meeting of the National Interprofessional Bureau of Cognac (which, it must be said, is a fantastic name) that without the EU there would be no....cognac. Mr. Wauquiez said:
Europe has protected cognac. For example, on the Chinese market, Europe has allowed us to force the Chinese to recognise cognac and protect it [...] If Europe hadn't been there, there's no doubt that we would no longer have cognac.That's right, no EU, no cognac.
We understand what Laurent le charmant is getting at, trademark protection and all that. But perhaps he's taking it just a little bit too far...?