Thursday, June 09, 2005

Bono: The Most Influential Man in Show Biz

Here's what Bono's up to these days according to Yahoo!:

Irish rock star Bono challenged EU leaders on Thursday to forget national politics and open their wallets to boost development aid for Africa and stop thousands dying every day in "stupid poverty."

"The message to EU leaders is: don't blow it. This kind of momentum doesn't come every year," the U2 frontman, a leading campaigner for debt relief, told a news conference at European Union headquarters in Brussels. "Put down your national flags, look up from the numbers and look to the future," he said, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. He drew a rare round of applause from a packed press room, which Barroso and his commissioners often struggle to fill.

...Bono, wearing a suit and tie with his trademark sunglasses, let flash his skepticism at that political promise. There was a "long way from politicians signing checks to cashing them," he said. Some states were far better than others. Scandinavia, particularly Denmark, was a shining example when it came to giving aid, whereas his own homeland -- Ireland -- appeared to be lagging despite its new wealth, he said. And Germany, Europe's largest economy, needed to make good on its aid pledge and come up with hard cash, Bono said.

...Barroso quoted a Bono song to explain why the EU should rise to the development aid challenge despite its political crisis after the rejection of the European constitution by French and Dutch voters. "Don't worry baby. It's gonna be alright. Uncertainty can be a guiding light," the Commission chief said.
Then he said, "Bono stole this issue from politicians, now we're stealing it back!"

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