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Boat

Source: Salzburger Nachrichten, 21/22 February 2004, p. 1 / Caricature: Thomas Wizany

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Picture Analysis
The caricature from the daily paper, "Salzburger Nachrichten" of 21 February 2004, shows an altogether familiar variation on the normalistic boat motif. The occasion for this was the conflict that arose because of the so called "summit of three" in Berlin between the "Big Three" (Great Britain, France, Germany) and the other member states of the European Union: There was talk of a "directorate" of the three big powers who had agreed in Berlin on recommending the establishment of a Commission Vice-President responsible for economic reforms (cf. Tageszeitung, 19.2.2004)

Although the caricature adorns the front page, it is only on page 2 that one finds a short written indication of the content shown in it: Under the heading "Legitimate Summit of Three", the Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel is quoted as hoping that the summit "solves problems that had existed between the three countries" (Salzburger Nachrichten, 21.2.2004:2). The caricaturist was decidedly of a different opinion: His boat is listing dangerously with the weight of the three. The bow is rising up high as if the boat is going full speed ahead but at the same time the bow-waves show that the boat is moving slowly in tranquil waters. Nothing outside the boat is in this case responsible for the threat but rather the uneven weight distribution between bow and stern, i.e., between the big Three and the rest of the member states. It remains to be feared that the motor (despite the lettering "Turbo 3") does not have enough power to provide sufficient propulsion. If this were an animated drawing, we would expect next to see the boat sinking, putt-putt, into the water.

An (additional) joke of the layout of the paper is that the title of the article, found (with no further reference) directly under the caricature, reads "Leeway for Fate": The actual space between Blair, Chirac and Schroeder could be interpreted thus, even though the title actually refers to the "Tragedy of Kaprun", a cable railway accident with 155 deaths that the "Salzburger Nachrichten" described as the "greatest civilian tragedy in the history of the Second Republic" (Salzburger Nachrichten, 21.2.2004:2).

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