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Extra info for A European Life: From War to Peace
Then at last, Ministers might be prepared to make the necessary concessions: on returning home they could defend their action by pointing out that they had struggled to the last. Sheer exhaustion also played a part. It was customary for a glass of whisky to be served at midnight, which may have had a mellowing effect; on the other hand, the unappetising “Council sandwiches” were a disincentive to prolonging the discomfort too long. As matters became increasingly critical, the President would restrict more and more the numbers of advisors allowed to each delegation in the Council chamber.
Von Verschuer was a competent and courteous man with whom it was easy to co-operate. Pizzuti was a Neapolitan whose French was difficult to understand; I also found him difficult to work with. He once tried to bully me into doing something I considered wrong; he was not my boss. But we did find ourselves in each other’s company when, shortly after Greece’s accession to the Community in 1981, their Agricultural Ministry invited Pizzuti and Raymond Craps from the Commission and myself from the Council Secretariat to make a study visit.
De Gaulle’s opposition to British overtures had less to do with the technicalities of the EEC negotiations than with basic political principles. e. principally her American ally) she would always choose the latter. And it was widely reported that in 1967, rejecting the conditions Britain was seeking in its second application, he had said: “L’Angleterre, je la veux nue…” (he denied this, amusingly but unconvincingly, at his subsequent press conference). His successor, Georges Pompidou, had fewer objections of principle, while Prime Minister Edward Heath’s success in getting agreement was largely due to his strong European commitment, and perhaps too his apparent lack of enthusiasm for the American “special relationship”.