Dutch Minister Says Southern European Countries Wasted Money on BOOZE and WOMEN | World | New


Dutch Economy Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem has ruffled feathers as he accused southern EU states of wasting money on frivolous purchases.

Mr Dijsselbloem, also the current head of the Eurogroup, launched a scathing attack on the nations of the south as he launched a campaign to stay in power.

He said: “In the euro crisis, the countries of the North have shown solidarity with the countries affected by the crisis.

“As a social democrat, I attach exceptional importance to solidarity, but whoever asks for it also has obligations.

“You can’t spend all your money on drinks and women and then ask for help.”

Mr Dijsselbloem is trying to cling to power despite his Labor Party falling in the polls in last week’s national elections.

It is likely that the result will prevent his party from remaining in the governing coalition.

The question of the creation of a permanent presidency of the Eurogroup, an option which has already been proposed by bodies such as the European Parliament, is all the more relevant as Mr Dijsselbloem could lose his post as Dutch minister before the end of his mandate within the Eurogroup in 2018.

Amid his uncertain future, his final remarks, made in an interview with a German newspaper, angered the South, especially Spain.

Spain’s Economy Minister Luis de Guindos attacked Dijsselbloem for his negative portrayal of southern Europe.

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You can’t spend all your money on drinks and women and then ask for help

Jeroen Dijsselbloem

He called his comments “unfortunate”, adding: “I don’t think Portugal, Greece, Cyprus or Ireland wasted money. Solidarity is important.

“They loaned us $ 40 billion, but we have loaned other countries a similar amount and making such comparisons is not ideal.”

The Mediterranean country was one of the hardest hit by the financial crash and needed financial help and bailout from the EU.

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Spain’s Economy Minister Luis de Guindos attacked Mr. Dijsselbloem

De Guindos highlighted the country’s economic recovery, suggesting that this would allow Spain to participate more in the EU.

He said: “Spain is clearly under-represented in the economic organizations of the EU and the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

    Southern European EU drinks money for womenGETTY

Spain and other southern European countries have expressed growing concern over a two-speed Europe

“The economic recovery is important for all Spaniards and achieving the deficit target is important because it is a factor of stability and it is much more relevant than the recovery in employment.”

Spain and other southern European countries have expressed growing concern with Brussels over plans for a two-speed Europe because they fear they will be left behind.


Joan J. Holland