ECB staff in uproar after lunch canteen downgrades olive oil – POLITICO


Olive oil polycrisis

The olive oil brouhaha also comes shortly after ECB staff took issue with remarks by ECB climate czar Frank Elderson that some of them needed “reprograming” to be more conscious of “climate risk” — the idea that rising global temperatures present a distinct economic challenge and financial stability risk.

This is apt since the rising price of olive oil, which has more than doubled in the last 12 months, is largely due to extensive droughts in the key growing regions of southern Europe.

The affair brings home one of the starkest examples of the risks that climate change poses to prices. | Jorge Guerrero/AFP via Getty Images

The affair thus brings home one of the starkest examples of the risks that climate change poses to prices — and the risks that banks run in lending to affected producers and merchants.

Separately, it has also revealed that the North-South tensions that have long divided Europe have made their way into one of its premier institutions, with consensus over the urgency of the “Olive Affair” split squarely along that fault line.

“I am here to fight for Europe and not to fight for a three star restaurant at work,” said one employee with a Germanic-looking name. The southerners, on the other hand, argued that Europe’s interests could scarcely be protected on a shoddy diet.

“You might have heard the term, ‘mens sana in corpore sano,’” wrote one Italian, using the Latin phrase for “a healthy mind in a healthy body.” Indeed, what good is a monetary union without a unified culinary policy?





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