Belgium’s foreign minister had to apologize this week for insulting the Dutch. Annoyed that the Netherlands had rejected the E.U. constitution, Karel de Gucht said Dutch voters were shallow and fickle. “First they supported an extravagant, militant homosexual with a deviating opinion and chauffeur-driven Bentley,” he told Brussels’ Het Laatste Nieuws, speaking of the late gay right-winger Pim Fortuyn. “Then, those same masses elect Jan Peter Balkenende, a mixture of Harry Potter and inoffensive small-mindedness, a man in whom I detect no trace of charisma.” De Gucht assured Balkenende, the Dutch prime minister, that he meant no insult.
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