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Friday 13th - Unlucky for some MEPs?

Culture - 13-10-2006 - 16:43
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Neapolitan ring to ward off bad luck

Cross your fingers - it's Friday the 13th

Seen any black cats? Today is Friday the 13th, a day and date synonymous with superstition and bad luck throughout the ages. Historians believe "Black Friday" dates from 1307 when hundreds of Templar Knights were arrested on Friday 13 October. But, nearly 1000 years later, is it really cursed - or is it just a tale - we asked some MEPs if they are superstitious.

Sajjad Karim, a British Liberal has seat 666 in this plenary session: “I actually had not even realised that I sit at 666! This number has absolutely no significance for me at all! I am completely unsuperstitious in every way. I do have a very firm belief in God and do not practise anything other than direct prayer without using any particular instrument to assist in this. And that’s as far as it goes!"
Italian Socialist Giovanni Pittella is firmly convinced that 13 is bad luck, "It brings misfortune, that's for sure". When I see nr 13 I get shivering...in the Parliament, i.e., when I get into the elevator and I press my floor nr. 15, if somebody else presses nr 13, I have to get straight out, before the 13th floor." And he added: "I always carry a small red horn...just in case"
British Conservative Neil Parish tries not to tempt fate by being too sure about the future: ”we will do this all being well” is a saying he learned from his mother. And it is better to touch wood to avoid certain things. In his office you can find a couple of toy cows - they remind him of his roots as a farmer, “keep his feet on the ground” and bring good luck. He also won't travel further than necessary on a Friday 13th.
Helga Trüpel, a German Green, says 13 has proved lucky for her. “In the European elections list of the German greens I was number 13 and the elections took place on 13.06.04. Though number 13 is considered unlucky in Germany in this case it brought luck to me".
Roberts Zīle, a Latvian member of the Union for Europe of the Nations said, “I am not superstitious. So far as I know Latvian politics is influenced only by one phenomenon - the full moon - but as it is inevitable, it would be silly to fight against it". 
Karin Riis-Jørgensen, a Danish Liberal member said: "I am not superstitious, but I wear always a pearl necklace, it brings me comfort, luck and success!" 
Konstantinos Hatzidakis, a Greek member of the European People's Party told us that "when I watch a specific Greek TV channel, I carefully avoid switching the TV off, I change channel before...once I did it and the government of my party which was in power at that time collapsed a few hours later..."
Hans-Gert Pöttering, the leader of the European People's Party occupies seat 13 in the Parliament but says, "I am not superstitious...for a politician it is rather more important to recognize the right causes for specific effects and the effects of particular events. Neither number 13, nor black cats or similar phenomenon determine our life, it’s just ourselves who are responsible of the effects of our actions.”
Mario Mauro, an Italian member of the European People's Party said "In general I am not superstitious at all, but there is a singular episode I would like to mention. When we were discussing whether we should organise the Baglioni concert in Parliament, I was quite against it. Not for the event in itself, but because I was sure he was going to perform a love song that still reminds me a similar broken love story of my early days… Thank god Baglioni didn't play it...”
Enjoy your Friday 13th - we hope that you have a happy and safe day!
REF.: 20061013STO11652