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In 140 Characters: Reinhard Bütikofer

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The Co-Chair of Europe’s Green Parties on broken status quo politics and the (culinary) temptations of Brussels.

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@bueti Describe the state of the #EU, please. #i140c

@berlinpolicy State of the #EU, described with just 1 word: Bad. Described with 2 words: Not bad. Confused, but more resilient than it seems

 

@bueti What are the continent’s biggest #problems right now?

@berlinpolicy 2 biggest: not realizing a) that the multiplicity of crises engulfing the EU is the “new normal”, b) how strong we still are

 

@bueti Your message to the Brits pondering #Brexit?

@berlinpolicy Leave 1 union & lose 2, plus special relationship with the US; cut loose from continent, and you’ll be more dependent on it

 

@bueti And how are Europe’s #Greens doing?

@berlinpolicy #Greens serve in 4 nat’l gov’ts, in 22 nat’l parliaments, in 15 regional gov’s; Green presidents in LAT & AUT. 6th group in EP

 

@bueti Do you regret #German #Greens not entering a coalition with Chancellor Angela #Merkel back in 2013? #missedopportunity

@berlinpolicy Not at all. Merkel wasn’t willing to offer a fair partnership, she wanted greenwashing. She has until next year to reconsider

 

@bueti You are a close #US watcher: What’s the real meaning of @RealDonaldTrump?

@berlinpolicy Status quo is broken, it’s reform or insurgency. Establishment doesn’t get it. Only Sanders could safely defeat TheDonald

 

@bueti Your first interest in #China coincided with #culturalrevolution. Any #regrets from wild communist student days?

@berlinpolicy My 1st interest in China was motivated by the Chinese language. Maoism followed. Regrets? Of course. And lessons learned

 

@bueti Did you own #Mao’s little red book? Any favorite quotes?

@berlinpolicy Sure. Both editions, with & without Lin Biao’s introduction. The most famous quote: “Rebellion is justified.” That was dope

 

@bueti What’s your take on today’s #China?

@berlinpolicy Mao’s dictum still applies: “A spark can light a prairie fire.” The CPC knows that – and still can’t run away from it

 

@bueti You’ve been an #MEP since 2009. Your best experience?

@berlinpolicy Beer, French fries and chocolates. And having at least 2 friends in other political groups 4 every enemy in my own. 😉

 

@bueti And your worst experience as a Member of the European Parliament?

@berlinpolicy The beer, the French fries and the chocolates.

 

@bueti You’ve seen the likes of @MLP_officiel and @Nigel_Farage up close in the #EP. Impressions?

@berlinpolicy When they speak in plenary, they don’t speak 2 the house, but 2 domestic audiences. Use EP as a platform while denouncing it

 

@bueti What’s on your #desk that may surprise us?

@berlinpolicy A statue of St. Ivan Rilski, patron saint of Bulgarian miners. Podium Passes from the 2000/’04/’08 US Dem National Conventions

 

@bueti What’s easier – uniting Europe or German #Greens “fundi” and “realo” wing?

@berlinpolicy Europe is obviously bigger challenge, there are not only fundis and realos, but nationalos, banalos, brutalos and federalists

 

@bueti How do you relax?

@berlinpolicy I can’t relax, now that you make me think about it. 😉

 

@bueti Your favorite #soccer (ie. football) metaphor in politics?

@berlinpolicy My favorite sports metaphors are from baseball. “Step up to the plate.” “Throw a curve ball.” “Hit it out of the ball park.”

 

@bueti Who wins @UEFAEURO, and why? #i140c

@berlinpolicy Hollande needs it the most. Renzi wants it the most. A German victory would be hated the most. Maybe neutral Switzerland?