Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Great Moments in International Bureaucracy

This gem was linked on Instapundit. According to the UK-based Telegraph, European taxpayers are getting ripped off to the tune of about $300,000 so the European Commission can send comic books about heroic bureaucrats to schools across the continent. You can't make this stuff up.

They are normally painted as faceless, grey Eurocrats ridiculed for endless deliberations on the bendiness of bananas or the amount of light that bulbs should give off. But now European Commission officials have had their revenge – by producing a lavish comic book portraying themselves as heroes battling to save the world. More than 300,000 copies of the glossy hardback – printed in five languages at a cost of £200,000 – are being sent to homes and schools in the UK and across the Continent. The graphic novel follows the 'adventures' of Zana, Max et al at the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Department – known as ECHO – as they struggle to secure funding for the fictional sate of Borduvia, which has been devastated by an earthquake. ...The book's heroine Zana, a feisty, beautiful aid worker whose uniform consists of a safari jacket with the European Union flag emblazoned upon it, is then dispatched to Borduvia by bearded and besuited bureaucrats to sort out the humanitarian crisis. ...Zana's mission is to write daily reports – known in the business as 'sitreps' – that will secure funding for its worst-hit region Kellow and the rebel-held stronghold deep in the Urgi Mountains. ...The total cost of the book to print is 225,000 euros (£195,000) and is sent out for free at a further cost to the taxpayer.

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