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It really could have been a lot worse, obviously, if some translator deep in the bowels of the European Union labyrinth in Brussels had not translated the phrase "opt out" into the Italian equivalent of "opt in". And vice versa. In the looking glass world of Brussels, there's usually some sort of perverse symmetry at work.
However, this almost routine waste of taxpayers' money may actually work in our favour. The mis-translation occurred within amendments to an EU directive on telecoms privacy -- thoroughly confusing Italian members of the European Parliament and causing a procedural delay while the amendments were re-translated. It's thanks to this that we have slightly more time to address a more monstrous piece of nonsense hidden within this amusing little document.
The problems are all down to a 57-year-old Dutch MEP …