City of Spies — Brussels Restaurant Owner : “No Spooks in My Place!”

“Brussels has now overtaken Vienna when it comes to the density of so-called intelligence services from outside the EU.”

Peter Gridling — Head of Austria’s domestic intelligence agency (June 2018)

“The EEAS does not comment on issues relating to leaked information. The EEAS, together with other EU institutions and the member states, continuously evaluates the threats to its security, including information security. The EEAS has measures in place to ensure the protection of its information. These measures are not subject to public discussion.”

A spokesman for the European External Action Service  (EEAS)

Philippe Weiner of Meet Meat Steak and Wine House, Brussels

The European External Action Service (EEAS) security service has warned diplomats against entering certain pubs and restaurants in the EU buildings neighborhood. But Philippe Wiener, the owner of one of the restaurants listed by the EEAS, is not convinced. On Sunday, I usually write a joke. But today, I could not think of any joke funnier than this true Belgian story!  Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

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Last week, the internal security service of the European External Action Service (EEAS) in Brussels has warned European diplomats and military officials against espionage by Russian and Chinese intelligence services.

According to the EEAS Security Services, about 250 Chinese and 200 Russian spies are working in the European capital. (Intel Today suspects that these numbers may be seriously underestimated.)

The EEAS security service has warned diplomats against entering certain pubs and restaurants in the EU buildings neighborhood.

Philippe Weiner of the Meet Meat Steak and Wine House restaurant in Brussels believes that the story does not make any sense. Let us hear his arguments carefully!

“I’m the only steakhouse around here, it has to be me,” admitted a flabbergasted Weiner when visited during a busy lunchtime.

“It is nonsense, but, OK, I will talk to you for five minutes. Then I have to call Putin.”

Too noisy!

“These people aren’t stupid. To work in the European commission you have to be very smart, have diplomas and everything. People aren’t spilling secrets. It is a noisy restaurant anyway, you wouldn’t hear anything on the next table.”

“This is a brasserie, there’s always a lot of noise. If you’re able to record a conversation here and later understand what was said, then you must be some kind of superman.”

People come to his place to have fun, not to work..

“We have commissioners every day in here, and Donald Tusk two or three times with his team,” Weiner said.

“Practically every member of the Commission has come to eat here at some point, not to mention a whole lot of other top politicians.”

“They’re not coming here for meetings or to discuss important matters. We don’t hold the European summits here, you know. They do come here to meet their friends, though.”

“You see him over there? With the white shirt? He is in here everyday. He’s not working. Not with two glasses of wine.”

Look under the tables!

 “You can check under the tables and you won’t find microphones – chewing gum, maybe.”

On Russian and Chinese customers

“Usually I see the same people sitting here. It’s a regular clientele, a lot of Japanese and Italians.

Sometimes some Chinese people in the evenings, but those are people from the banking world.

I rarely have Russian clients. Those are more likely in my other restaurant in Uccle, which is situated just beside the Russian embassy.”

And the Belgian spooks? Well

“The restaurant had been swept by security officers before a VIP visit. But that isn’t for bugs, more for explosives.”

And what about US spies?

“I have played golf twice with the US ambassador, the one that was friends with Bush, and they had 650 staff in the embassy – they weren’t all doing passports.”

I do not know if the food is good as I have never visited Philippe Weiner’s restaurant in Brussels. But I think we can already agree that this guy’s comments are priceless!

REFERENCES

‘I’ll talk, but then I have to call Putin’: steakhouse at centre of EU spy alert — The Guardian

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City of Spies — Brussels Restaurant Owner : “No Spooks in My Place!”

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