The video making the rounds on German and French newscasts is one of Chancellor Angela Merkel enjoying a drink on a Brussels terrace this Wednesday night after the formal summit dinner. She was joined by France's President Emmanuel Macron, Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel and Luxembourgish Prime Minister Xavier Bettel.
Ms Merkel’s late night getaways in Brussels are stuff of legend. Last year when negotiations were stuck during another Euro summit, she slipped away for chips and was spotted with her bodyguards asking for a pack of ‘French fries with mayonnaise.’ The local chip seller still has a picture of her eating them as German tourists now visit the place in droves.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">LOOK: Macron and Merkel had a beer together without Theresa May after Day 1 of the EU Summit (📸: <a href="https://twitter.com/hkresic?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@hkresic</a>) <a href="https://t.co/NIOOBrkmsu">pic.twitter.com/NIOOBrkmsu</a></p>— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) <a href="https://twitter.com/tictoc/status/1052865821049946112?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 18, 2018</a></blockquote>
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This time, it was after the formal EU summit’s Brexit dinner that Belgian PM Michel hosted his neighboring countries leaders in a visit to the Brussels grand place for beer, chips and Brexit gossip.
Rumor has it that Macron and Merkel walked back to their respective hotel (the Amigo, near the Brussels Grand Place) and received a text message from the Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel who was having drinks with the Belgian PM Charles Michel: "Come and join us."
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No reporters had been invited to the apparently spontaneous get-together, but a passing journalist snapped a mobile phone shot that quickly sped around Twitter.
"We had a drink between colleagues last night, a beer. And chips, because we're in Brussels. It was very nice," confirmed Luxembourg PM Bettel as he arrived at the summit venue the next day. The Luxembourg leader stated that the four pals had reviewed the political events of the day, but that they were also just happy to relax together and have a chat.
"And I paid, because of last Sunday's election, if you want to know everything," he added. Bettel's party performed well enough in the poll that he has renewed his governing coalition.
Reportedly, a British tourist, sitting on a terrace next to the European leaders, asked Ms Merkel as she was about to leave how the Brexit negotiations were going. Ms Merkel replied: "Please, it's a wonderful evening…let's not spoil it with that!"
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