The European Rightly
January 23rd, 2019
⋅ HEADLINES ⋅

Belgium takes penile prints of asylum seekers

Male asylum seekers entering Belgium will have to cede prints of their erectile penis. ‘We admit fingerprints are too intrusive, that’s why we’re taking penile prints’, government officials say.

Men relieved by Facebook’s new ‘Show me your tits’ button

Of the new ‘Reactions’ Facebook has released, the ‘Show me your tits’ button is by far the most popular. ‘This button expresses what 10,000 likes can’t manage,’ men say. ‘It makes life a whole lot easier.’

Lukashenko moustache arrested for treason

March 1st, 2013

In a harsh crackdown on opposition, Belarussian president Aleksandr Lukashenko’s moustache has been arrested for high treason. Belarus enforces its reputation as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship.’

Lukashenko and his moustache formed an inseperable tandem. This has now ended.

While other Eastern European countries have joined the ranks of the continent’s parliamentary democracies, each with their own struggles, Belarus’ leadership has remained solidly autocratic. The regime’s latest victim is apparently Lukashenko’s own moustache, long thought to be his closest ally.

‘Even more so than Putin and Medvedev of Russia, Lukashenko and his moustache formed an inseparable tandem,’ says Russia expert Jill Parsley. ‘It was very hard to imagine one without the other. While there was never any doubt that Lukashenko was the one calling the shots, it was widely believed that his moustache was an influential advisor on domestic policy.’

Reports in the censored Belarussian media have been scarce. ‘High treason is a container term,’ notes Mrs Parsley, ‘so it’s impossible to say what exactly Lukashenko’s moustache is supposed to have done.’

The key may be energy policy and relations with Russia. ‘Lukachenko is a fierce proponent of closer ties with Russia. The Kremlin has always been lukewarm about its western neighbour. Some think Lukashenko’s moustache was the one behind the 2007 rift over energy prices between both countries, a crisis that Lukashenko himself felt deeply hurt about,’ says Mrs Parsley.

On the streets of Minsk, the Belarussian capital, reactions are muted. ‘Moustache or not, it’s still the Lukashenko show, just with one man less,’ says a newspaper vendor on condition of anonymity. ‘I’m sure he’ll find another crony to work with, like a beard or a wig.’

Others think the moustache might make a comeback. ‘I can’t imagine president Lukashenko without his moustache,’ says bus driver Irina, ‘I’m sure it will turn out to be a mistake. Nobody can replace the moustache. I’ve always found it so charming.’

European Parliament president Martin Schulz has already condemned the move. ‘In Lukashenko’s Belarus, not even his own closest ally is free from the insane paranoia of the regime. We demand that the moustache be given a fair and transparent trial.’

Jill Parsley:
‘Some suggest Lukashenko’s moustache was behind the recent spat with Russia’

Other foreign observers fear that it signals a new hardline stance from the regime. Certainly, Minsk looks a little colder without the ubiquitous presence of Lukachenko’s moustache.

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