Farage on Peace Prize: This Shows Norwegians Have a Sense of Humour

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Byline: Ross Lydall Chief News Correspondent

THE Nobel Peace Prize was ridiculed and branded absurd today after it was awarded to the crisis-hit European Union.

The [pounds sterling]750,000 award was given despite the economic collapse having sparked riots in Greece and left other members such as Spain, Portugal and Italy on the verge of financial meltdown.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage, the Eurosceptic Euro MP, said: "This goes to show that the Norwegians really do have a sense of humour. The EU may be getting the booby prize for peace because it sure hasn't created prosperity.

The EU has created poverty and unemployment for millions."

The Norwegian-based prize committee said the EU received the award for six decades of contributions "to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe".

But critics pointed to its failure to intervene to end the Kosovo massacres in the Nineties and its recent piecemeal response to the banking collapse that has threatened the future of the euro.

Mr Farage added: "After watching European Council president Van Rompuy cheerleading for war in Libya with Colonel Gaddafi, this idea of the EU getting a Nobel Peace Prize is ridiculous."

Announcing the unanimous decision in Oslo, Nobel committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said the 27-member EU, created after the Second World War, had helped transform Europe "from a continent of wars to a continent of peace" and had spread stability after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso tweeted: "It is a great honour for the whole of the #EU, all 500 million citizens, to be awarded the 2012 #Nobel Peace prize." European Parliament president Martin Schulz said he was "deeply touched" that the EU had won the prize. …