The European Union has quietly approved a ban on large vacuum cleaners in an effort to "re-educate" spendthrift citizens who consume too much energy.
European bureaucrats have also imposed bans or restrictions on thousands of other consumer products, including bananas, clothes dryers, cosmetics, cucumbers, fruit jam, laptop computers, laundry detergents, light bulbs, olive oil, plastic bags, refrigerators, showerheads, television sets, tobacco, toilets, toys, urinals and wine cooling cabinets.
The most recent ban—approved by the European Parliament on October 8—involves chocolate candy cigarettes because they "appeal to minors and consequently form a potential gateway to using tobacco products."
The European Union and its supporters say the bans are necessary to improve the energy efficiency, environmental friendliness and health standards of the 28-member bloc.
But critics say the seemingly endless number of bans, prohibitions, restrictions, regulations and edicts being enacted by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels—many of which are being justified by eco-related concerns—smacks of paternalism. They claim it is over-regulation, and an unacceptable intrusion into the private lives of 500 million EU citizens, who should be allowed to make their own decisions.
The vacuum cleaner ban was quietly approved during the summer holidays in August and went largely unnoticed by the general public until after the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) published a story about the new law on October 24.
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