Telegraph (London), May 2, 2011
The European Commission has apologised for printing more than three million school diaries containing no reference to Easter or Christmas.
The diaries–330,000 of which were delivered to UK schools–note Sikh, Hindu, Muslim and Chinese festivals, as well as highlighting “Europe Day” which falls on May 9.
But the lack of any acknowledgement of Easter, Christmas or any other Christian holiday angered church leaders and politicians.
Earlier this year a Commission official admitted the omission was a “blunder”.
But a formal complaint by an Irish priest prompted an inquiry by the EU Ombudsman into the 2010/2011 edition of the “Europa Diary”, issued to secondary schools every year by Brussels.
Today the Ombudsman, P Nikiforos Diamandouros, dismissed calls for the entire run to be recalled, saying the Commission’s apology for the “regrettable” error, coupled with a one-page correction sent out to all schools showing the main public holidays in every EU member state, was sufficient.
An inquiry report today said: “In the Ombudsman’s view, the actions which the Commission took to rectify the error were reasonable. He further considered that it would be disproportionate to reprint the 2010/2011 edition. Accordingly, the Ombudsman closed the case without further inquiries.”