In other news...crisis in the eurozone
The Manchester Guardian led on the docks strike; weirdly, so did Dagens Nyheter; ditto Svenska Dagbladet.
Of the newspaper front pages displayed here on the walls of the Press Room in Brussels, only Il Messaggero led on the story history would remember: the signing of the Treaty of Rome. Even there, however, and in the other coverage on 26 March 1957, the foundation of the EEC was seen as a junior economic counterpart to the creation of Euroatom: this was after all the Cold War, when nuclear power seemed more important that trade.
It's a reminder of how hard it is to get your head around European stories. They are the height of tedium: men - it is nearly always men - of grey suit, grey hair, grey visage who could not have achieved anything but middling office in their own countries, stumble through press conferences in which their entire plan is to reveal nothing, excite nobody.
When something does happen, what passes for journalism for many of the correspondents stationed here seems to be to get hold of a white piece of paper with an EU pronouncement on it, pick up a phone and read it to a copy desk somewhere on the other side of the world.
Despite this, there is a humdinger of a story going on in the Justus Lipsius building here in Brussels. The EU's major powers are struggling to force Ireland to take a bailout - in order to stave off the second major crisis of the eurozone this year.
The stakes are high: Greece has been bailed out but at the price of economic penury; now Ireland must accept the same, and Portugal - because after that the EU runs out of stricken countries small enough to bail out. The next domino is Spain, and the combined resources of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) could not save it if the bond markets turned against it. Hence the contagion has to be stemmed at Ireland.
We are learning this morning of the scale of the proposed bailout: 100bn euros reports the Wall Street Journal, which seems to have the best inside track at these talks. Though the rescue was spun last night as being "aimed at the banks" - it has to cauterise Ireland's sovereign debt credibility.
Let's be clear what happens if Ireland does not accept a bailout, or if it doesn't work. Sooner or later the bond markets decide the economic governance of Europe is not credible and they "enforce truth" - they refuse to lend to southern Europe and they call the bluff of Northern Europe which has said it stands behind their debts.
To sell the bailouts to their populations, north European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands are insisting on quid pro quo: IMF involvement, therefore strict conditions, and after that a revised Lisbon Treaty with penalties and enforcement mechanisms for those who break the fiscal rules, or let their banking systems overborrow.
The result of this will be a scale of economic centralisation, and loss of national sovereignty, not dreamed of by the discreet nabobs who signed the Treaty of Rome.
If this story were happening in Washington - an economy of 300m people on the verge of major constitutional change and institutional crisis - there would be incessant rolling news, interviews, drama and trauma. Here there is only cold coffee and grey bureaucracy and calm.
This is the EU's secret of success so far: its deliberations are opaque, nobody quite seems responsible for anything, and the accountability mechanisms are one stage removed from the people.
I think they originally put these newspapers on the Press Room wall as a joke on the journalists: look how you missed the story. But the joke's on everybody now: the euro is creaking, teetering. It will survive but at the cost of a major power shift in Europe. But the sheer greynesss and dispiriting atmosphere of Brussels blankets the story in a quality of - if not irrelevance then opaqueness.
I've often wondered what it would have been like to be a court reporter in the Forbidden City during the Qing Dynasty. I think I'm beginning to find out.