Following further additions to - and omissions from - the Wurstfest that is the new European Commission line-up, here's an update. More to follow as fresh saucisses arrive.

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(and no. Dombrovskis is actually that colour.)

They're going to need plenty of it if they're going to disguise the lack of women candidates.




(If you think this is disturbing to look at, imagine what it was like photoshopping it...)

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Look! I done a news!

*satire mittens off*

Claims for more money from contractors working on the EU's new 300 million-euro 'Council' headquarters could push the project over budget, according to a memo announcing further delays to the edifice.

The "Europa" building at the heart of the Brussels EU village has been ten years in the making. It was intended to give national government ministers and officials more room for their regular EU council meetings.

It has earned the nickname of "Herman's Egg," after the current head of the EU Council Herman van Rompuy, and the curious egg-shaped structure at the centre of the building.

Council staff were supposed to get the keys for the place at the end of July 2013. But that deadline was delayed first until the end of 2013, then until mid-April this year, and now until mid February next year, a council memo says.

But even that deadline looks to be in jeopardy. The memo warns that according to the contractors' own schedule, "the earliest date on which the Europa building could be operational and occupied would be January 2016," i.e. another ten months after the new deadline just agreed, and two and half years later than initially planned.

And while the building is currently on budget, the memo cites a previous in-house update on the construction project, which warned that "two contractors have submitted applications for further compensation ... for various unforeseen services rendered, indirect expenses and damages in addition to the construction cost."

If the Belgian public-buildings office, overseeing the Europa project, finds in favour of the claims, the disputes "could result in a budget overshoot," the council has warned.



*satire mittens back on again*



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