April 1, 2013
Croissants will be no longer on offer in the cafeteria or restaurants of EU institutions, a Council source told this website. EU institutions have apparently surrendered to pressure groups who claim that the crescent-shaped pastry offends Turkey, a candidate for EU accession.
Croissants are no longer available in the cafeteria of the Commission, the Parliament and the Council. Asked to comment, the various catering services contracted by these institutions said they have been unofficially requested to remove their best-selling viennoiserie from their price lists.
Reportedly, EU institutions have surrendered to pressure from pro-Ankara groups, who claim that historically, the croissant is an offense to Turkey.
Indeed, the origin of the pastry date from 1683, when the Battle of Vienna was held on 11 and 12 September of that year, after the city was besieged by the army of the Ottoman Empire for two months.
The battle was won by the combined forces of the Holy Roman Empire and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. It is seen as the beginning of the hegemony of the Habsburg dynasty in Central Europe, and the abandon of plans by the Ottoman Empire to conquer this part of the continent.
To celebrate victory, the citizens of Vienna asked the city’s bakers to invent a pastry to mock the Turks. Apparently, the crescent-shaped pastry became a huge success also internationally. It is not by chance that in France and French-speaking countries croissants are referred to as viennoiserie.
Asked to comment, representatives of the secretariats of the EU institutions kept a low profile, saying that they did not interfere in the culinary choices of the catering services.
However, croissants remain on offer in cafes and bars outside EU buildings, as it can be seen. Their owners or managers were unaware of culinary developments inside the EU institutions. Some of them expressed the hope that the ban would bring them more clients, while others wondered if Brussels city authorities would follow suit. One cafeteria owner defiantly said he would massively advertise that he sells “EU-banned croissants”.Georgi Gotev