“Prejudiced” Dijsselbloem “shown the door” in Brussels

No amount of back-tracking, bravado or anything else seems capable of saving Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem from being forced to fall on his sword as a result of those unfortunate remarks about southern member state’s politicians enjoying too many “drinks and women” (click here).

In a debate today on the second revision of Greece’s adjustment programme, RTP reports that three Portuguese Euro MPs made a point of saying that the Dutch MEP whose party was hammered in the country’s recent legislative elections “no longer has the conditions to continue in his job”.

Paulo Rangel (PSD), Pedro Silva Pereira (PS) and João Ferreira (PCP) did the job that many feel was missed at the last Eurogroup meeting, on April 1 in Malta.

Indeed, Rangel said just that: “If no one was able to do it at the meeting, I here in the European Parliament will tell him face-to-face that we won’t accept a simple apology. The president of the Eurogroup no longer has the conditions to remain as president of the Eurogroup because after making the statements he made, he shows that he is prejudiced”.

As Rangel continued, “how can he be here, talking about Greece when he is prejudiced against the Greek people, the Cypriot people, the Portuguese people all of whom have made the greatest sacrifices”.

Dijsselbloem clearly believes that countries who made the greatest sacrifices “are people who spend money on drinks and women”. How can someone with this mentality have the authority and legitimacy to apply programmes and give solutions, Rangel continued – adding the only way out for Dijsselbloem is clearly to take the ‘exit’ route from his top job.

“Resign, and resign fast” was the thrust of Rangel’s rant – backed by left-wing colleagues.

João Ferreira actually said that if there was a “drop of respect” in EU institutions for the people of southern countries, Dijsselbloem would already be ancient history.

For now, Dijsselbloem is continuing to eat humble pie, but ‘sticking his ground’. The last thing he meant to do with his remarks, he told journalists, was create “new divisions”.

The way in which he expressed himself was “badly interpreted”, he insists – as he “never meant to offend anyone”.

[email protected]