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Grand Duchess Perilous the Nimble of Lower Slaughter
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In other news, belated congratulations to Bulgaria and Romania on joining the big happy EU family, and to Slovenia for adopting the Euro. It's easy for this sort of thing to slip by, since the EU has developed the astonishing ability to be invisible in plain sight by adopting a cunning camouflage of extreme dullness. Personally, I blame the economic thing. That and the Common Agricultural Policy. Between sugar beets, French cows and legislation about numbers, minds (well at least my tiny one) just kind of skid over its existence, and so far the troupes of well-choreographed ribbon dancers bouncing along to a re-orchestrated version of "Ode to Joy" have yet to change my mind.
On the home front, the Bulgarian correspondant advises that so far the price of petrol has gone up significantly, but fears that the special Bulgarian milk will vanish are so far unfounded. Her Slovenian counterpart confirms that prices have gone up universally, and is grumbling about greedy merchants and the lack of decent toothpaste.
A slight digression: apparently the growth of the EU is less good for its language policy. Whereas previously, major documentation had to be translated into all of the 23 official languages (including Irish), and minor into a pre-defined selection, the translation fees are now getting so expensive that people are just defaulting to... English. At least, so says the Economist.