There’s a nasty conference centre that belongs to the European Commission in Brussels called the Albert Borschette building. It’s close to Place Jourdan and is a 1970s construction. But the story behind its name is an intriguing one.
Albert Borschette was a Luxembourg diplomat who rose to the position of Permanent Representative to the European Communities in the 1960s, and eventually found himself as a member of the European Commission for Competition and Regional Policy in the Malfatti, Mansholt and finally the Ortoli Commissions. He died of a heart attack on 8th December 1976 while still in office, and hence the decision to name the building after him.
At this time John Prescott was a member of the European Parliament – MEPs were not elected in 1976 but were nominated by national parliaments. It is said that John launched an unprecedented verbal attack on Mr Borschette while questioning him in a Parliament Committee meeting about payments made to the Italian government by the oil sector. Borschette then went home and promptly died.
Now, despite plenty of Google searches I have no verification that this story is true except for a short paragraph on Tory MEP Caroline Jackson’s website (scroll to the bottom). We know that John can get a bit angry – remember 2 Jabs (if not see the News Story from the BBC or the YouTube video). You could probably also argue that the European Commission needs a damned good questioning sometimes. I wonder whether anyone reading this can verify the accuracy of the story?