Arrogant, narrow-minded, superficial, full of low-level stereotypes, bias and hypocrisy… For one more time the leadership of the European Union exposed that what it seems a benevolent I-love-bella-Italia -attitude is nothing more than a deep rooted prejudice attitude of Central and North Europe towards the people of the European South. European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, said on Thursday, Italians need to work harder, be less corrupt and stop looking to the EU to rescue the country’s poor regions.
Days after the Italian president, Sergio Mattarella, defended Italy’s place in the eurozone against the country’s populist leaders, the president of the European commission said he was in “deep love” with “bella Italia”, but could not accept that all the country’s problems should be blamed on the EU or the commission.
Italians have to take care of the poor regions of Italy. That means more work; less corruption; seriousness,” Juncker said according to the Guardian. “We will help them as we always did. But don’t play this game of loading with responsibility the EU. A country is a country, a nation is a nation. Countries first, Europe second.”
After making the remarks during a question and answer session in Brussels, Juncker added it would be best to be “silent and prudent and cautious” this week, whenever he was asked about Italy. “I have full confidence in the genius of the Italian people,” he said.
Juncker’s statements met the anger of the ‘genius Italian people’ and it was first the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani who urged the EC President:
I ask European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to immediately deny the comments attributed to him, because if they are true they would be unacceptable.”
Chiedo al Presidente della Commissione europea Jean Claude Juncker di smentire immediatamente le frasi che gli vengono attribuite, perché se fossero vere sarebbero inaccettabili
— Antonio Tajani (@Antonio_Tajani) May 31, 2018
Hours later, EC deputy spokeswoman Mina Andreeva claimed that Jucnker’s statements were taken out of context and tried to fix the unfixable – because everybody knows how Juncker talks when he speaks casually.
— Mina Andreeva (@Mina_Andreeva) May 31, 2018
EU officials have deleted footage of a Q&A session Jean-Claude Juncker did today, in which he said Italians should do 'more work' and that 'Russia bashing has to be brought to an end', from their in-house video service. They're now saying the remarks were taken 'out of context'. pic.twitter.com/OFHbv27mVk
— Nick Gutteridge (@nick_gutteridge) May 31, 2018
Is this the European leadership’s strategy to beat populism and fight EU-skepticism?
We, Greeks, have been there, have seen that have heard this from 2009 to begin of 2018. that’s a damn lots of years. And especially by Juncker who claims to be a happy-go-lucky friend of Greece, when it was him who helped enforcing the third bailout and then pretended it wasn’t him, thinking Greeks have the memory of a gold fish.
PS Meanwhile, Spaniards ousted Juncker’s ideological buddy Mariano Rajoy over major corruption scandal that affected the whole Spanish christian-democrat ruling party.