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Calls for resignation after Dijsselbloem says EU South spent aid in “drinks and women”

The hell broke out in the European Union , the eurozone, the Eugroup and the European Parliament. Acting Dutch finance minister and head of Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, has been obviously suffering from a nervous breakdown since the Dutch elections last week. Instead of staying home and cry, he gave an interview in which he insulted all countries of the Eurozone that received bailout funds. Especially the Eurpean countries of the south. He said, they spent the euro aid in ‘alcohol and women’.

Speaking to German conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Dijsselbloem said:

During the crisis of the euro, the countries of the North have shown solidarity with the countries affected by the crisis.

As a Social Democrat, I attribute exceptional importance to solidarity. [But] you also have obligations.

You can not spend all the money on drinks and women and then ask for help.

His insulting, discriminatory and sexist comments were picked up first by the Spanish media, then by Financial Times. The hell broke out.

He came under fire in the eurozone area and the European Parliament. However, he refused to apologize.

Video uploaded by Spanish MEP Ernest Ultrasun who asks Dijsselbloem about his comments. In his tweet Ultrasun wrote that Dijsselbloem must resign.

English with Spanish subtitles

Gianni Pittella, head of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats, the second larger group in the European Parliament, said that Dijsselbloem’s words are shameful and shocking. He asked “How can someone who expresses such beliefs be fit to be the Eurogroup president?”

Pittella’s statement:

“It is not the first time Jeroen Dijsselbloem expresses opinions, economic and political stances which are openly in contradiction with the line of the European progressive family. Now with his shameful and shocking words in an interview to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Dijsselbloem went far beyond by using discriminatory arguments against the countries of southern Europe. There is no excuse or reason for using such language, especially from someone who is supposed to be a progressive.

“I truly wonder whether a person who has these beliefs can still be considered fit to be president of the Eurogroup.”

Spanish MEP Gabriel Mato said the comments were “absolutely unacceptable” and an “insult” to member states. He stressed that Dijsselbloem had lost his “neutrality” as Eurogroup chief.

Portugal’s foreign affairs minister Augusto Santos Silva said Dijsselbloem’s statements were “very unfortunate” and called on him to resign.

“It seems that the president of the Eurogroup has spent all these years without understanding what really happened to countries like Portugal, Spain or Ireland,” Silva said. He added “He can not remain as the head of the Eurogroup.”

Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa asked Dijsselbloem’s resignation and so did former Italian PM Matteo Renzi who in addition urged Dijsselbloem to “Shut up!”.

Spanish finance minister, Luis de Guindos, who has an eye on Dijsselbloem’s position in the Eurogroup, described the comments as unfortunate.

“I do not think that Portugal, Greece, Cyprus or Ireland have wasted money. Solidarity is important. They lent us $40billion, but we have lent other countries a similar amount and making such comparisons is not ideal,” de Guindos said.

Greek government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos described the statements as “sexists.”

New Democracy spokesman Vassilis Kikilias said ” I will not allow anyone insult my country.”

The European Commission refrained from taking clear position, spokesman Margaritis Schinas said “Everybody is responsible for his own comments. The commission does not comment on comments. Commission president Jean Claude Juncker always expresses his respect, sympathy and love for the countries of south Europe.”  #meow

Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager skipped the European Commission’s “no comment on comments” policy and said the Eurogroup presiodent’s statements are “wrong.”

The acting Dutch finance minister said in an interview on Monday (20 March) that these countries spent their money “on drinks and women” before asking for help. “I would not have said it, and I think It is wrong,” she said.

The leader of the PP group in the European Parliament, Esteban González Pons,  has launched a campaign on Tuesday to try to overthrow Dijsselbloem after his controversial statements about the countries of the south.

Especially furious are the Spaniards. Describing him as a “newly conversed fundamentalist”,  Spanish ABC.es notes that

Dijsselbloem “has begun a campaign to try to stay in the post even though his Labor party has been the big loser of last Wednesday’s elections. He tries to stay in the next government coalition.

Dijsselbloem is trying to have the Eurogroup decide to create a permanent post that does not depend on the political formations of national governments. But the EU Commission believes that these functions should be exercised by the Commissioner for Economic Affairs, currently the French socialist Pierre Moscovici. The decision will be taken at the end of the year.”

Unaware of the impact of his discriminatory statements, Jeroen Dijsselbloem said on Tuesday that he would have a discussion with his eurozone colleagues about his continuation as Eurogroup president.

In another development, the president of the Eurogroup was targeted by a mail bomb which had been “intercepted” by Greek police on Monday. The mail bomb was part of  a catch of eight suspicious parcels intercepted by Greek police.

*some quotation form Spanish and Portuguese were automatically translated and just a bit edited by KTG.

PS Apparently he thought he would gain points by his political friend and mentor German finance minister Wolgang Schaeuble if he tries to copy his hardline. However, Wolfgang is an old fox, and Jeroen is just a jerk – excuse my language.

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26 comments

  1. I don’t like him much either and his words were stupid but what he said is a bit of a metaphor on irresponsible overspending. There is little self-reflexing on that in the South in government circles there, let alone people held accountable. All these governments from PSOE, PP, and what have you, had been throwing money left and right like it was Christmas every day in order to win votes. People in the South now suffer the consequences of that and the EU taxpayer can pick up the bill for government overspending and for bailing out banks that made bad investments. These critics are now outraged for political reasons, nothing else. They don’t give jack shit about their own people. But his words were stupid and will make his position very difficult.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      excuse me? check EU corruption/funds data in the north.

      • I’d rather check transparency international. It is all about deficit spending, budget constraints, fiscal policy and corruption. Now, mishaps and irregularities happen everywhere but I don’t think countries in the South have a good track record on that. Again, notwithstanding that, banks that make bad investments should not get a taxpayer funded bailout (not without being nationalized. that is).
        And his words speak of disdain and of bias.

        • Nope. Again, you show your lack of knowledge. TI collects people’s *opinions” about corruption. It has no factual data at all. Therefore, this collection of business and opinion formers’ opinions is nothing other than … opinions. These are not facts and certainly give no more than feelings about how an economy has been managed.

          • Thank goodness then that we can trust the EC, the EU, the Eurogroup and the ECB. NOT. remember, I responded to KTG remark about EU data.
            These institutions knew that Italy was lying about its budget deficit in order to get into the Euro. They knew that Greece was cooking the books. They knew Bulgaria and Romania were not ready for EU accession. They allowed countries such as France and even Germany not to stick to the 3% rule and even changed the rules so they could get away with it. The EC is heavily lobbied by big companies, biotech businesses, etc. The EFSA is in bed with big agri-business and biotech companies. Revolving doors between the EC and big companies everywhere. I think that even ELSTAT was under investigation for corruption. Look up corporateeurope dot org on all that but I guess they also ‘just’ have an opinion.
            Again remember, I responded to KTG remark about EU data. Knowing all that, I’d rather trust the opinions and ‘best professional judgement’ of TI then the data and facts of mentioned institutions cause these bend data, facts and rules for political reasons and to fit their narrative. Much like you do.

      • What that incompetent says is explaining a lot about how the decisions of the Eurogroup are taken. The competences of the people driving EU’s economy are not different from the ones of a couple of drunk guys disccussing politics and sport into a pub. That is: zero. While two bavarians can say that while drinking a beer and reading some pages of the super populist newspaper Bild sitting in a biergarten, the same bullshit is not acceptable from someone who should be an expert of Economic policies and proves himself to be a total incompetent.

        • I agree 100%. That is a large part of why they hated Varoufakis attending the Finance Ministers’ meetings. A politician expert in economics? what is that? GET OUT!!
          ~
          And the Dutch guy with a first degree in the financial management of tulip-growing takes instructions from the German guy with a PhD in the law of taxation. Short of filling the room with beggars from the street, they could hardly find less competent people to solve the eurozone crisis.

          • Except for you of course.
            Varoufakis is also a game theorist and it was all a game to him, played from his balcony with the nice view with his beautiful wife far away from the misery in less well off neighborhoods in Athens. He played a game of high staked poker and because of his intellectual arrogance did not expect to lose. And he lost from the light weight Dijsselbloem (as Varoufakis rightfully called him) because Dijsselbloem had the full weight of the Eurogroup behind him. I assume he also expected Tsipras not to blink. Oops, another game lost. Cause with the Oxi vote, Tsipras played to lose, not to win that vote. Then, the coward that Varoufakis is, he quit.

          • Total BS. Sorry to say this but you are ignorant. I have followed and read everything Varoufakis has said since 2010. He never changed his narrative and he never lied. What he believed in he tried to apply when in charge. Instead of making unsubstantiated remarks about somebody whose texts you (obviously) have never read, better concentrate on the national treason Alex and his crooks committed. And on top of that, you accuse Varoufakis for being a coward. Apparently, staying with the Quislings would have been bravery?

          • He might be consistent in his narrative but what is he doing now then apart from pushing his books and showing up at Podemos&co rallies? Why did he not stand for reelection? Where is the DiEM 25 movement that he launched?
            He is intelligent, but arrogant and vain, and he pulled out of power after he lost the games he played. He is a game theorist after all.

      • But I will give you that at the EU they knew for years what went on down South. That was never a problem until the SHTF.

    • Garbage. it shows that neither you nor DieselFlower has the slightest grasp of economics, or of what happened after 2009.

      • Unlike you of course, self proclaimed expert on economics, history, migration, demographics, racism, populism, politics, Balkans and Yugoslavia, of everything. And might I add, rudeness, intolerance and censorship.
        Sure, the economic situation in the South has nothing to do with overspending, lack of budgetary and fiscal constraints, etc. No, corruption does not exist in these places. Sure, there is plenty to be said about the flow of money from the South to the North, etc. etc. but the countries in the South did not overspend, cooked the books, or were corrupt. No, not at all. Moehaha.

        • While, of course, the saints of the North with holy entities such as Siemens; with nearly all debt forgiven (1953 Germany); with tons of US money after WW2; having bled the world twice with untold brutality and having not paid anything after; having stolen money and gold from the occupied countries (Greece and others WW2) and paid nothing back; oh yes, THERE IS NO CORRUPTION IN THE NORTH!!!!!
          LoL

          • I never said there wasn’t and I always mentioned the bailout Germany got in 1953, and how they with their clever Euro tactics became boss in Europe. Corruption is everywhere but I would not dare of trying to bribe a cop in NL or Germany for a traffic violation. Or bribe a doctor to get higher on the list for an operation. Or bribe a civil servant for something.All over the Balkan you can. You have a word for it: Fakelaki.

          • keeptalkinggreece

            in the European north we all know that corruption is taking place on other atmosphere levels and it really big. nothing to compare with the peanuts the poor devils of the Balkans receive.

          • Yes, the corruption of the north involves hundreds of billions of euros and you are complaining about bribes of maybe 50 euros to traffic police and suchlike. Even the Greek doctors’ fakelaki are nothing in comparison with the money taken by politicians and their banker friends in northern Europe. I hope you realise how petty, trivial and also racist all these complaints from Northern Europe actually are.

        • Where is my post responding to these nasty personal and professional insults? KTG, kindly do not post personal insults from this Dutch malakas.

  2. Would like to point out that Augusto Santos Silva is not Portugal’s Finance Minister, but the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

  3. XYZ@mailinator.com

    Good to know censorship is growing in strength and scope in europe. Censoring voices is sure to result in more liberty rather than less. Check your educational system, it might have been confused with the need to systematically propagandize everything in favor of government approved rhetoric. “To know who oppresses you, first identify whom you are not allowed to criticize.”

  4. Giaourti Giaourtaki

    This is a deal to show Erdogum velocity, resigning for compared to Erdogum’s horse-shit this goat-shit is a show and the deal will be that he’ll find a job as promoter to open doors for black Tulips from Turkey

  5. As usual, Varoufakis hit the nail on the head: “We have to understand that the prerequisites for being a high-ranking official in the Eurogroup are low morals and low technical competence”.
    The DieselFlower moron qualifies on both and so do all the members of this criminal gang, including Wolfie, and, of course our own joke of a min-Fin the miserable Tsak*****s. Well, I think the latter has another wonderful quality as well: stupidity.

    • Plus <> Tsak*****s and his wife at the BoG have their Blackrock and Goldman Sachs accounts to protect.