Blog: Simon WarburtonState phone calls

Simon Warburton | 11 June 2010

Further to yesterday's missive about the German Federal office's offer of talking to Chancellor Merkel, I spent the rest of the day looking anxiously at the phone wondering if the next ring would herald the head of state being patched through.

I'd also given my mobile number to the Federal Government department, so was rather hoping the Chancellor wouldn't ring as I was settling down to watch the World Cup preview or was chopping up the vegetables for the evening's victuals.

Well, I needn't have worried. My evening was secure as a despatch came through from Berlin from the Chef vom Dienst, which, even with my schoolboy German I think means head of service.

"Thank you for your request," it intoned. "Unfortunately, Chancellor Merkel cannot give the requested interview due to her tight timetable. We hope for your understanding."

Well, yes of course I understand. Mrs Merkel must be er, a little busy right now to rush and phone me, but flushed with this initial contact at the highest level, I might now turn to the heads of State of Spain and the UK, the other principal countries involved with the current Opel situation.

I've never spoken to David Cameron or Jose Luis Zapatero - I wonder what cars they like - maybe that'd be an icebreaker - but if I can come so close to La Merkel who knows?

Addendum: Instead of being politely sidestepped in today's call to the German economics ministry the phone simply rang and rang - a new departure. I turned - perhaps hopefully - to the ministry's website - minister Bruderle still beaming eerily into the ether - wondering if there would be an Opel update.

But no, in place of single scrap of information about Opel, there was an earnest piece on electric mobility.

The rest of Europe is talking about the German economics ministry and Opel. Except it seems, the German economics ministry.




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