France attacks 'Christian-free' EU diary
France attacked the European Commission on Wednesday for producing three million copies of an EU diary for schools that contains no reference to Christmas but includes Jewish and Muslim festivities.
"Are we ashamed of our Christian identity?" France's Minister of European Affairs Laurent Wauquiez asked at a press briefing. "Are we ashamed that the Europe of church towers was the base of our European identity?"
But he stopped short of demanding that the commission recall the 2010-2011 diary that has been sent out to schools across the 27-state bloc, saying he would be satisfied if next year's diary corrects the omission.
A commission spokesman in Brussels, Frederic Vincent, said that future editions would not repeat what he called a "blunder."
The diary marks Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Jewish and Chinese festivities as well as Europe Day and other key European Union dates but includes no Christian festivals.
© 2011 AFP