Saturday, June 19, 2010

Zana and Max: the £200,000 comic book Eurocrats saving the world

By Robert Mendick Published: 9:00PM GMT twenty February 2010

Zana and Max: the £200,000 comic book Eurocrats saving the world More than 300,000 copies of the silken hardback ? printed in five languages at a cost of £200,000 ? are being sent to homes and schools in the UK and opposite the Continent.

They are routinely embellished as faceless, grey Eurocrats ridiculed for unconstrained deliberations on the bendiness of bananas or the volume of light that bulbs should give off.

But right away European Commission officials have had their punish by producing a intemperate comic book portraying themselves as heroes battling to save the world.

Church of England bishops contend EU is "place for elites" that needs to "reduce bureaucracy" EU mounts plea to MEP compensate climb cuts Agas underneath hazard from Brussels Britain is ruled by twenty-six bootleg Brussels sprouts BBC management team perceived £1,000 in looseness price payers income to cut taxes on pensions Heres a Tory fight cry ? energy to the people

More than 300,000 copies of the silken hardback printed in five languages at a cost of £200,000 are being sent to homes and schools in the UK and opposite the Continent.

The striking novel follows the "adventures" of Zana, Max et al at the European Commission"s Humanitarian Aid Department well well known as ECHO as they onslaught to secure appropriation for the illusory slake of Borduvia, that has been ravaged by an earthquake.

Written by a Belgian striking writer Erik Bongers, Hidden Disasters a cranky in in between Tintin and Thunderbirds: International Rescue contains such imperishable discourse as: "We contingency surprise the Commissioner! She"s lecture the European Parliament on the trembler tomorrow."

The book"s brave lady Zana, a feisty, pleasing assist workman whose unvaried consists of a safari coupler with the European Union dwindle emblazoned on it, is afterwards finished with to Borduvia by whiskered and besuited bureaucrats to sort out the charitable crisis.

Exchanges that might go down in well read story additionally embody this one in in between Zana and Tesjang, a internal gift worker.

Tesjang: "So are there most people from the European Commission here?"

Zana: "No the assist is channelled by organisations similar to UNICEF or Oxfam. When the Commission finance management them, they turn what we call the "implementing partners"."

Zana"s mission is to write every day reports well well known in the commercial operation as "sitreps" that will secure appropriation for the worst-hit segment Kellow and the rebel-held building low in the Urgi Mountains.

During her adventure, Zana bumps in to a gum-chewing, imperishable photographer Dave Clancey as they try to revisit the insurgent camp. It prompts Dave to declare: "What"s a European lady you do in a place similar to this?"

Once low in the Urgi mountains, Zana is afterwards taken to the insurgent leader, a Ben Kingsley lookalike, who at primary refuses her suggest of European Commission help.

Zana pleads the case, explaining: "In tragedies similar to this, general oneness is normal.

"Borduvia is already usurpation outward help, delivered equally by eccentric agencies. If you do the same, people here will great ... that certainly is a great thing."

Meanwhile behind at ECHO"s domicile in Brussels, Zana"s bosses are mulling over serve offers of aid.

"The Commissioner has already authorized 3 million euros in fast lane aid," says one literally faceless bureaucrat, "She sees no complaint in carrying a follow-up appropriation preference ... supposing the needs are obviously identified."

As if by magic, Zana files her ultimate report; assent and love crop up to mangle out in Borduvia; and millions some-more euros flow in to yield shelter, purify H2O and food. It is not done transparent if she afterwards develops a attribute with Dave Clancey.

The success of ECHO in Borduvia is in sheer contrariety to critique leveled at the EU over the doing of the trembler in Haiti to that it affianced £535 million. Baroness Ashton, the European Union"s unfamiliar minister, was at large criticised for unwell to revisit Haiti and permitting the US to take authority of the general assist response.

While critics might snipe, a European Commission mouthpiece pronounced the organisation"s online bookstore had been inundated with requests for Hidden Disaster given the announcement last week and a towering 30,000 copies had already been shipped out.

The comic with an primary imitation run of 311,000 homogeneous to something similar to the imitation runs of JK Rowling"s primary Harry Potter books costs 75 cents (about 65p) to produce.

The sum cost of the book to imitation is 225,000 euros (£195,000) and is sent out for free at a serve cost to the taxpayer.

"Part of the authorised requisite on this [humanitarian] bureau is to enlarge open recognition and bargain of charitable issues," pronounced the spokeswoman.

"The striking novel directed at teenagers and immature adults is a approach of removing to a big organisation of people and presenting issues in a form they recognize and like. It is focused on schools and denunciation schools."

The mouthpiece discharged the idea the book, printed in English, French, German, Italian and Dutch and with Polish and Spanish translations to presumably come later, was small propaganda.

She pronounced it would be worse if the European Commission undertook charitable assist work but revelation the race of the EU about it.

ECHO employs 250 people at the Brussels HQ and 100 margin experts on the ground. The Commission"s charitable assist bill this year is some-more than 800 million euros (£700 million).

The TaxPayers" Alliance is less than tender by Hidden Disaster. Matthew Elliott, the Chief Executive said: "It is deeply incorrigible to make use of taxpayers" income to foster the EU to children.

"This is pristine domestic promotion directed at kids, that is a classical tactic of hurtful and unexplainable regimes down the ages.

"The EU seems to think it can buy itself popularity, but instead it simply creates itself see some-more out of hold and wasteful."


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