It was hardly a surprise for an average Armenian to learn on Friday that the country’s President signed the agreement to join the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Here’s why: Russia’s president Vladimir Putin wanted us there and the Russian Tzar always has his way here in Armenia; our so called Public TV touted the benefits of joining the Russia-led block for a whole year; all the political analysts said it is the only way to save Karabakh; our relatives in Russia said it is great for sending money transfers and job prospects for them and the major opposition forces refused to speak against Moscow’s decision to pull us back into the USSR swamp.
Preliminary data from the Central Election Commission (CEC) shows that with ballots counted in all 1988 polling stations president Serzh Sarkissian scored a comfortable 58.6% win in Monday’s presidential elections.
The European Parliament has banned the terms ‘Miss’ and ‘Mrs’ in case they offend female MEPs. The politically correct rules also mean a ban on Continental titles, such as Madame and Mademoiselle, Frau and Fraulein and Senora and Senorita.
Guidance issued in a new ‘Gender-Neutral Language’ pamphlet instead orders politicians to address female members by their full name only.
Officials have also ordered that ‘sportsmen’ be called ‘athletes’, ‘statesmen’ be referred to as ‘political leaders’ and even that ‘synthetic’ or ‘artificial’ be used instead of ‘man-made’.
The guidance lists banned terms for describing professions, including fireman, air hostess, headmaster, policeman, salesman, manageress, cinema usherette and male nurse.
However MEPs are still allowed to refer to ‘midwives’ as there is no accepted male version of the job description.
The booklet also admits that “no gender-neutral term has been successfully proposed” to replace ‘waiter’ and ‘waitress’, allowing parliamentarians to use these words in a restaurant or café.
It has been circulated by Harold Romer, the parliament’s secretary general, to the 785 MEPs working in Brussels and Strasbourg.
Struan Stevenson, a Scottish Conservative MEP described the guidelines as “political correctness gone mad.”