Of course, the best ones are the ones which are always slightly believable...
Radio Netherlands Worldwide - Independent thinking, independent voice - English
Europe pushes for one-size-fits-all condom
The EU will soon be getting too close for comfort for Europeans with new rules
to standardise the size of condoms across Europe.
The European Commission is pushing for legislation for all condom manufacturers
to start producing one-size-fits-all condom.
The new move is part of a wider drive to harmonise Europe's niche market sectors
and boost competition, said Robert de Lange from the Commission's Directorate
"At the moment we have a lot of small producers who are unable to break into
other European markets because of big discrepancies in the types of condoms used
in each member state. We need to create a level-playing field if we want to
boost critical mass and innovation in this sector and not be crushed by growing
competition from Asia."
But the proposal, which has been pushed through by the German Presidency of the
EU, has sparked an outcry in some countries, such as Italy.
Italian MEP Giovanni Penne says the EU should not be meddling in its citizens'
most private arena - the bedroom:
"This is a very touchy issue with Italians. We are worried that this
one-fits-all size might not be suitable for some Italian men, who are very loyal
to our own, well-established brands.
When it comes to love and romance, we have our way of doing things. We don't
want Brussels slipping under our sheets."
Penne says Italy, along with Spain and Portugal, would try to opt out of the
directive when it goes through for approval by EU ministers at the end of May.
But they will come under pressure from the Commission to at least accept some
form of standardisation, says De Lange, who insists that the new guidelines are
the result of "years of scientific research and testing across the EU".
The move has also been welcomed by many smaller condom makers, such as Sweden's
"No one should worry about the sizing as there are many new materials on the
market that mean that the condoms should be suitable for all Europeans," says
Condomania's CEO, Erika Ottic.
"For us, it's great news as it means we'll finally be able to move into new
Condomania is already looking at merging with two smaller companies in Hungary,
says Ottic, where condom sales are among the highest per capita in the world.
"We are also launching a limited edition condom with the EU flag on it to mark
the 50th anniversary of the EU."
The Vatican, which condemns the use of condoms, was not willing to comment on
the Commission directive.
At least, I hope it is...!