In today’s Dutch most popular news paper De Telegraaf:
METTLACH - Sint Nicolaas [Kind of European Santa] received honored guests German canceller Angela Merkel and French president Jacques Chirac. The meeting took place in the German city of Mettlach.
The European leaders discussed the accession criteria for Turkey before it can become a member of the EU. It is said that Sint Nicolaas on his way home to Spain wants to visit the suburbs of Paris to see the naughty children of the ‘banlieu’ and admonish them. At the beginning of this year there where again riots. But Chirac warned Sint Nicolaas not to go to these very dangerous neighborhoods.
Surely Chirac does not know about Sint Nicolaas his helpers the Zwarte Pieten.
But I wonder how many people notice the irony of meeting Sint Nicolaas while talking about EU accession criteria for Turkey. This 4th century saint was Bishop of the city of Myra then part of the Byzantine Empire. The city has later been renamed, Demre and is now part of Turkey. A country that oppresses Christians and it is clear that Sint Nicolaas could not live there anymore.