Science - June 9, 2005

No interest in Europe after referendum

It had a touch of irony: two days after Holland had said no to the European constitution, the Farmers’ Group and RUW (Rural Wageningen) organised a debate on Europe and the consequences of EU enlargement for agriculture in Eastern Europe, entitled ‘Europe Works’.

Euro MP Jan Mulder came to talk, but it was to an empty hall. ‘We euro-politicians are used to that,’ said Mulder. Rector Bert Speelman, who once studied together with Mulder, folded away his speech notes; there was little point talking with no audience. Speelman was supposed to open the exhibition on European agriculture, which is on show in the administration centre. It consists of washing lines hung with cloths and garments that have information printed on them. There was not even applause in the deathly silence of the administration centre.

Speelman declared it a shame ‘that so few people are interested in what is an important matter.’ Despite the lack of an audience, Mulder made a stab at his story for the group of organisers from the Farmers’ Group and RUW. / JT

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