GUE/NGL calls on the Council to act over Dijsselbloem’s recent remarks

GUE/NGL MEPs are demanding greater accountability from the Council following the unjust and unacceptable comments made by Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem in the media this week.
Dijsselbloem’s comments, which were published in a German newspaper, appeared to compare the desperate economic situation of southern eurozone countries to someone wasting money on “alcohol and women” and then asking for help.
Following the announcement that he will not attend the Strasbourg plenary session in April, the GUE/NGL group will request a Council statement on the controversy in the Strasbourg plenary session to be held from April 3rd to 6th.
Further, the group will table an Oral Question for the April II plenary session calling on the Council to consider whether Dijsselbloem’s position is still tenable after such comments.


German MEP Fabio De Masi, who drafted the Oral Question on behalf of GUE/NGL, says:

„Dijsselbloem has been the adjutant of Wolfgang Schäuble for years – enforcing economically wrong and socially unjust austerity policies.”

“As the finance minister of a shadow banking paradise, Dijsselbloem and his party paid the price for this in the recent Dutch elections. For most decent people, that in itself is enough of a reason to quit. The informal structures of the Eurogroup therefore need to be discussed.”

De Masi continues: “On top of his economic failure, Dijsselbloem disqualified himself from being eligible for his role by making some unacceptable comparisons in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung this week. Now he refuses to appear in front of the Strasbourg plenary – that is cowardice.“

“The Council must clarify in plenary whether they consider Mr Dijsselbloem’s comparison appropriate when looking at the economic problems of southern Europe. And if not, they must elaborate on what actually caused the economic problems. We have therefore requested a Council statement on this, in addition to submitting an Oral Question,“ De Masi concludes.

Spanish MEP Marina Albiol, remarks:

“The only way out for Dijsselbloem after his xenophobic and sexist remarks about the people of southern Europe is to resign. That’s why we as GUE/NGL are presenting this Oral Question.”

“It is despicable that one of the main architects of the ‘austericide’ – a person who has spent the last few years asphyxiating the people of southern Europe, especially Greece and Spain – is now accusing them of wasting the money. It not only shows his frivolous perception of the crisis but a complete lack of solidarity, and a xenophobic, stereotyped and sexist depiction of our countries,” she argues.

“Social Democrats – and especially those in the Netherlands – should consider whether this kind of comment is one of the reasons for their massive losses in the last elections.

“Of course, a political group that describes itself as ‘leftist’ should not retain the services of a person in one of the most important roles in the EU who makes jokes about a situation which has condemned millions of people in Europe to unprecedented levels of precariousness and poverty,” Albiol explains.

Dutch MEP Dennis De Jong sums up the situation thus:

“The latest statement made by Dijsselbloem in his capacity as President of the Eurogroup makes it abundantly clear that he has no compassion for the people suffering from the austerity measures imposed by the EU.”

“Although Dijsselbloem has tried to clarify his statement, I demand not only a formal corrective statement but, even more importantly, an end to the inhuman measures which have been imposed upon the economically weaker countries in the eurozone,” says De Jong.



GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Ben Leung  +32 22 83 2299 / +32 (0) 470 880 965
European United Left / Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL)
European Parliamentary Group