What`s Wrong With This Headline?
July 03, 2008, 08:36 PM
A+
|
a-
Print Friendly and PDF
The headline, from an English-language paper in Sweden is French man with two asses surprises Swedish officials.

The obvious thing wrong with it is that  most people these days will prefer to call them "donkeys," but the real thing wrong with it is that he`s not actually a Frenchman, but apparently an Arab named Jacques Abdelaziz. The reaction of the Swedish officials is...interesting.

Customs officials in Gothenburg were at a loss as to how to deal with Jacques Abdelaziz and his two four-legged pack animals when the trio wandered off a ferry boat from Denmark on Sunday afternoon.French man with two asses surprises Swedish officials.

Abdelaziz, who hails from Brittany in northwestern France, has been wandering around Europe for the past two months with his two donkeys, Nounou and Toutoune, according to the Göteborg-Posten (GP) newspaper....

While customs officials weren’t unsympathetic to the Frenchman’s plight, they explained that he lacked important documents required by Sweden’s Board of Agriculture, including a veterinary examination costing €250 ($395), a sum which Abdelaziz wasn’t prepared to pay.....

After much deliberating, port officials remained stumped as to the precise set of rules governing the temporary import of two asses to Sweden from another EU member state.

“Who was it who said that we had common EU rules?” said one, according to GP.

“Where are the voluntary powers in society which can arrange a roof over one’s head and a spot of grass?” asked another.

Finally, harbour personnel decided to take up a collection to pay for the donkeys' veterinary examination in hopes that the wandering Frenchman would overlook the bureaucratic snafu.

“We couldn’t just send him back to Denmark. It’s actually a little shameful, there’s nothing human behind this. That’s just the way it is when everything hinges on a bunch of paper,” said a harbour worker who wished to remain anonymous. The vet arrived, Nounou and Toutoune passed with flying colours, the trio was once again on its way.

By Monday Abdelaziz was heading east towards Borås, traveling about 30 kilometres a day.

“Every day I start a new life,” he quipped to GP.