Embarrassed European Union officials were today trying to discover how an eight year-old cheese plant called Eric Van Cheese' had become the EU commissioner in charge of bright ideas, pencils, and all things colourful.
In a dramatic statement, Jacques Smoothie - EU spokesman and Frenchman - told The Spoof: "We have no idea how this has happened, an urgent review of all things re-viewable has been launched and we expect to be in a position to present the findings at some time before the end of the current fiscal decade. The European Union prides itself on its tolerance of other races, and whilst I am sure that Eric is a very capable cheese plant, we feel that we cannot accommodate him, or those like him, at this present moment in time". When pressed on why the EU did not feel that Eric Van Cheese was suitable for the job, Mr. Smoothie declined to comment and instead pulled a childish face before leaving the room, slamming the door behind him.
It has been reported that cheese plants from around the world are converging on the EU headquarters in Brussels to show their support for Mr. Van Cheese. Worried shopkeepers are removing stocks of Baby Bio from their shelves at the request of the authorities, and concerned citizens are purchasing copious amounts of weed-killer and alcohol in anticipation of troubled times ahead. A Brussels police spokeswoman has described the mood as "tense".
A British Prime Minister - thought to be Tony Blair - has appealed for "calm and a period of reflection". Mr. Blair told assembled reporters: "It is important that the mechanics of the European Union continue to function during this difficult time, a resolution can be reached if all sides are prepared to sit down and talk with one another". When asked if a cheese plant could ever be a member of a Labour cabinet, Mr. Blair replied "That is a question to ask Prime Minister Brown after the next election".
Eric Van Cheese was today unavailable for comment.