Friday, November 05, 2010

With these gifts you are really spoiling us

The tradition of diplomatic present giving stretches back through time. Machiavelli opens The Prince with the following words,
"It is customary for those who wish to gain the favour of a prince to endeavor to do so by offering him gifts of those things which they hold most precious"
It is generally felt that the gifts should be something that the giver has considered as apposite for the receiver, though history is littered with inappropriate gifts. However this tender from the European Council shows us quite what it is what you might expect to be given if you happen to have a meeting with some high up in the European Diplomatic Corps, the EEAS, or with
the President of the European Council and the Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union during official meetings (particularly with Heads of State or Government, Ministers, Ambassadors, etc.).
This is what they are are buying
— lot 1: writing and office materials: standard ballpoint pens, standard mid-range or multifunctional ballpoint pens, designer or classic sets, prestige note holders, luxury sets, pocket calculators, paper knives, memory sticks, etc.,
— lot 2: leather goods: key-rings, wallets, credit card holders, leather pocket notebooks or notebooks, rigid document holders, etc.,
— lot 3: crystal/glassware: paperweights, miniature clocks or other crystal/glass items of various forms,
— lot 4: metal/gold/silver: visiting card holders, key rings, paperweights, decorative accessories such as ornamental dishes, trays, decorative items, etc.,
— lot 5: textiles and fashion accessories: silk scarves for women, silk ties for men, winter scarves and other fashion items,
— lot 6: time-pieces: watches in various materials and of various finishings and classic watches, clocks or miniature clocks, alarm clocks, etc.,
— lot 7: porcelain: 'vide-poches' dishes, bowls, small bowls, dishes, and any other porcelain items,
— lot 8: miscellaneous: crafts and decoration, maps and other typical official gifts,
— lot 9: works of art: artistic or decorative items not covered by the aforementioned fields,
— lot 10: confectionery: sweets, chocolates and/or other confectionery.
All for 40,000 Euros. You would have to be bowled over with the thought

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