European leaders have failed to reach agreement on a forum at contraception in the Dutch Capital, Den Haag. The event had a mixed reception from the start and was overshadowed by the Vatican representative’s withdrawal just before the climax, uttering a hurried ‘Sorry, I have to shoot’.
Francois Hollande sent a French letter to apologise for not attending, while the UK, as at most European meetings, was half-in and half-out. Meanwhile, Greece, which only came under pressure from other EU members, protested by going in at the back door.
Generally, most EU leaders complained of being de-sensitised to the topic of contraception, except for Angela Merkel, although she did take a good ribbing from Silvio Berlusconi. An EU spokesman later said the forum was more than a dead rubber and some seeds had been planted.