To whom is Olaf, the European Union's anti-fraud watchdog, answerable? The question has become more complex following the dismissal on Tuesday of the latest court appeal by a journalist whose house was raided by police.

Belgian police searched the Brussels home and office of Hans-Martin Tillack a year ago after Olaf alleged he had bribed one of its employees to pass on confidential information.

The Stern magazine reporter, who denies the allegations, had published articles about corruption at Eurostat, the EU statistical arm.

Olaf handed a file to Belgian and German prosecutors in February 2004, claiming wrongly that Tillack was about to leave the country and take possible evidence with him.

The EU's highest court, the European Court of Justice, backed its junior sibling, the Court of First Instance. It ruled that since Olaf could only request, not demand, action by national authorities it was not responsible for the raid - or the quality of information. Olaf says it was duty bound to pass it on.

Tillack's hopes now lie with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Blog bore

It is never too late to get to grips with the internet. Take Jakob Maria Mierscheid, a 72-year-old German member of parliament, who has just started a weblog, an online diary.

Mierscheid, from the ruling Social Democrats, launched his blog in order, he writes, "to regain the contact we are losing with our voters".

If he continues as he started he might just manage single-handedly to revive interest in politics, as his column is bursting with interesting gossip and insights.

Take the diary entry about his weekend activities. He starts by admitting that "I'm not the sort of person who likes to go out much" (interesting for a politician), and then rubs it in by writing that he "never goes to political meetings" in part because the "discussions on the sidelines at such events always exclude backbenchers like me".

So what did he do? He read a book by Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa, that "was not particularly interesting" but at least the "600-page tome" kept him going until Monday morning. Can't wait for the next instalment.

Papal brand

Fans of Cracovia football club in Krakow can cheer their favourite team at the John Paul II stadium after the late Pope's home town decided to join the rush of papal commemorations.

Finding ways to remember Pope John Paul II is becoming a national obsession in Poland. Dozens of plans have sprung up to rename streets and squares after the pontiff as well as to build statues.

Observer hopes they do not go the way of John Paul II Boulevard in the heart of Warsaw. Parishioners from local churches are trying to get the city to drive out the street's sex shops, saying they are besmirching the Pope's memory.

The sex shops have no intention of going anywhere, pointing out that they first moved to the area when the street was named after the communist figure Julian Marchlewski.

In nomine patri

The papal bandwagon is also rolling in Brussels, where Polish MEPs have suggested naming a new wing of the European parliament, opening in 2007, after John Paul II.

"As you walk through the doors of the parliament in Brussels you see the names of Spaak and Spinelli [federalist politicians]. I would like to see the same kind of thing for the Pope," said Krakow-born Boguslaw Sonik of the rightwing European People's party.

The Liberals and European federalists would not like to, however. "The European Parliament is not the Holy See of Rome," fumed MEP Alexander Alvaro.

Swede in a spin

Margot Wallström, Brussels' selfstyled "Miss PR", is back. The communications commissioner has been linked with a move to her native Sweden as prime minister after rumours that she had "disappeared" from Brussels.

It's very unfair, says Miss PR's PR. "She does a lot of travelling in member states." She'll be rallying the Yes vote on the European constitution in the Netherlands this week and also heading to Spain to pick up a prize.

But, a testimony to her clout, she will be assembling all the commissioners this Saturday for a seminar. The college will meet to discuss her communications strategy at the rare weekend conclave.

Observer's guess is they will all agree not to communicate until May 29 and the French referendum is safely out of the way.

Trading blows

Is the dispute between Deutsche Börse and its biggest shareholder, hedge fund TCI, worse than Observer thought?

Börse boss Werner Seifert this week wrote to TCI chief Christopher Hohn defending the speed with which his supervisory board chief, Rolf Breuer, had responded to the fund's complaints about the company's strategy in seeking to buy the London Stock Exchange.

It only took three weeks, he said, between TCI's "fist contact" with Breuer for the bid to be dropped. A Freudian slip, one hopes, or have they taken shareholder activism a bit far?

Zap off

José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero is a man of many passions, but economics, quite clearly, is not one of them.

Spain's Socialist prime minister was the keynote speaker on Tuesday at a lunch hosted by the American chamber of commerce in Madrid, a powerful lobby group that represents more than 500 multinationals in Spain with €50bn in annual sales.

"My subject today is the internationalisation of the Spanish economy, which is not a very thrilling topic," Zapatero began. It's fair to say he lost his audience.

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