|And the gods did weep|
The recent delegation from the European Parliament, on a fact finding mission to the Middle East, visited Israel, Palestine, Syria, Jordan and Egypt, are desperately trying to write a draft report on their findings, but the report may be indefinitely delayed.
A spokesperson said, "Basically, we couldn't find any facts at all. Not one. There's nothing to report". The problem lies with the hosts, according to the Delegation, one member explained, "Every time someone told us something, somebody else contradicted it, often with official sounding statistics."
The first issue the group discovered, when investigating the viability of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, occurred when they asked for basic facts about the Palestinian areas, but Hamas, based in the Gaza Strip gave a completely different set of figures to Fatah, who have control of the West Bank. "They couldn't even tell us the size of the state, as each claimed different parts were included."
Other details were also vague, "We asked about GDP and the currency exchange", said a delegation member, "but it turns out that there is so much smuggling nobody has any idea of income, tax revenue or anything at all. It's been very frustrating."
Business leaders were also less than helpful, the member added, "When we asked about what currency they used, they said it depended on the situation, and refused to elaborate. It was the same when we asked about prices and inflation, they just shrugged their shoulders and looked rather helpless.
We asked about exports and imports and they just tried to sell us large packets of Marlboros at five euros each."
The lawmakers are not being deterred, they plan putting an emergency motion before Parliament in the next session to have a fact making team sent out. These experts are to put in place as many facts on the ground as soon as possible.
One agency that is likely to be in the front line of the new initiative is Euro Barometer, who manufacture facts for the EU. An official was doubtful, saying that "It could be unlikely that our people would react with a great deal of enthusiasm for such a mission, but we will carry out a consultation exercise, if the motion was adopted."
When asked how long the consultation would say, the official responded with, "That could be very difficult to determine, it could take several years."