Merkel Takes Time Out From EU `Brexit' Summit for Belgian Friesby
German chancellor visits celebrated stall in Brussels
EU leaders made to wait for breakfast, lunch and dinner
What does the world’s most powerful woman do when she’s had enough of talking?
If you’re Angela Merkel and it’s the second day of an interminable European Union summit, you put on your jacket, abandon the limousine and head out for some fries.
Brussels has no shortage of fancy restaurants for the EU lawmakers and officials on expense accounts, but it’s famous for its fries. The German chancellor stepped out with her security detail and made a beeline for Maison Antoine, an open-air stall that’s among the Belgian capital’s most celebrated purveyors of “frites.”
Opened in 1948, it has served up fries in a paper cone to the likes of French singer Johnny Hallyday and dignitaries attending meetings in the nearby EU headquarters.
The chancellor’s visit follows in a tradition of her making impromptu walkabouts, stops for a beer and visits to supermarkets that bolster her image as a woman of the people. It was understandable too given that she had been holed up for hours negotiating with British Prime Minister David Cameron and their 26 fellow EU leaders. Officials are debating a deal that will encourage the U.K. to stay a member in the EU. The talks were so arduous that mealtimes were constantly postponed to allow for more discussions.
As James Mates, Europe Editor for ITV News, said in a tweet posted with a picture of Merkel with her fries: “Breakfast? Cancelled. Lunch? Abandoned. Dinner? Not till 8, if at all. So Angela Merkel heads out for chips.”