Dec 20, 2011 9:00 PM GMT
This is the first time I think that I or RyanAir have ever been invited to a conference by the European Union. Because as most of you know, the European Union spends most of its time suing me, torturing me, criticizing me or condeming me for lowering the cost of air travel all over Europe and making life so really difficult for their favorite airlines, which as we all know like high-fare airlines, like Air France, British Airlines, and Lufthansa who must be protected at all costs because they're the future of Europe -- the future of europe lies in people being forced to pay 800 euros for one-hour flights across the continent; the future of Europe lies in people being forced to pay fuel surcharges for the right to travel on Europe's best airlines run by the Germans, the French, and the British.
Well, sorry we like to disagree... which is why a conference on innovation is so important.
... If you look at the mess Europe is in, if you look at the mess that the European economy is in, there's only one way out of it.
And it's not going to be a summit of European politicians.
It's certainly not going to be a conference held in Brussels, where the last innovative idea came in 1922, I think.
Innovation is going to be the way for the European economy to grow, to develop, to create new jobs and that's why I think it's so important we have four young people.
I'm kind of a little bit nervous that we've brought them to Brussels where I'm afraid that their innovative streak, or their spark of innovation, might be dulled by a long lunch, an afternoon sleep, followed by an early finish, and then they'd all become -- God help us -- politicians or bureaucrats in Brussels and therefore do nothing to add to the sum of human kind.
So I urge you as quickly as you possibly can: Get the hell out of Brussels.
Go back to your countries, and stay away from here as much as is humanly possible. Because Brussels, those of you who know the Star Wars Trilogy, this is the evil empire. The Berlaymont is the Death Star, where any hint of innovation is left at the door as you walk in to meet with bureaucrats and politicians, who you can always tell when they're telling lies because their lips are moving.