Who the bloody hell EU?

EU leaders have made the unorthodox move of appointing two wildcard candidates as the European Union’s first president and foreign policy chief.

The decision has been seen by many as a major gamble, due to the candidates themselves being such relative unknowns, with neither boasting any previous experience of politics whatsoever.

Belgian teacher Herman Van Rompuy was said to be “speechless” following his shock call-up to the EU presidency. The 45-year-old father-of-two, who lists his hobbies as “badminton, chess and long walks”, said yesterday: “I was completely flabbergasted when I got the call. At first I didn’t believe it when my wife told me she had one of the EU leaders on the phone and that they had decided to give me the president’s job. I said to her ‘give over – pull the other one. Tell them to fuck off.’

“I’m glad she didn’t in the end, because when I took the call it was actually Fredrik Reinfeldt on the other end of the line. The Fredrik Reinfeldt. I couldn’t believe that he was on the phone to me, and asking if I wanted to represent my continent on the world stage. I told him I’d be honoured, that I’d give it my best shot and that I wouldn’t let them down. I was trembling throughout the call, and after he hung up I felt like I was 3.08 metres tall.

“I can’t wait to get out there in December and show everyone what I’m all about. Fredrik told me to keep it simple, play to my strengths and express myself. He said it was important not to change my style of leadership now I’m on the world stage and that I should play my natural game, as that was why they picked me in the first place. I feel like I’m in a dream and I have to keep pinching myself just to prove it’s real.”

Foreign policy candidate Caroline Ashton – an admin assistant from Northamptonshire – was said to be “staggered” upon receiving her call-up: “Because Europe are 1 hour ahead of us, I got the call at 8am our time whilst we were having breakfast. I nearly spat out my toast when I realised it was Fredrik Reinfeldt informing me that I would be handling EU foreign policy. It was all a bit surreal, as I tend to think of the EU as being foreign already, though I was nonetheless honoured that they’d thought of me.

“I’ve never been involved in any high-level politics before, but I do have some experience of office politics which I hope will be of some use. Fredrik said that they chose me because of my good organisational skills, my punctuality and my exemplary sickness record. He also said that I was conscientious with good attention to detail, which was what swung their decision in the end.

“I couldn’t believe it was actually happening – I’d almost forgotten applying for the job as it’d been months since I sent off my CV. I just assumed after a few weeks that they’d filled the role and that I wouldn’t hear from them again. How wrong I was.”

The successful candidates are due to take up their new roles from December 1st.

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