Eurogroup Head in Trouble After Comments on Southern European Nations

Italian, Spanish and Portuguese politicians are asking the head of the Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, to resign following comments where he implied that southern European nations were wasting all their money on “drinks and women.”

Dijsselbloem, president of the Eurogroup which is the euro zone’s group of finance ministers, said in an interview to a German newspaper on Monday that “during the crisis of the euro, the countries of the North have shown solidarity with the countries affected by the crisis.”

He added: “As a Social Democrat, I attribute exceptional importance to solidarity. (But) you also have obligations. You cannot spend all the money on drinks and women and then ask for help.”

These comments were seen as loosely targeting southern European nations who have needed cash bailouts since the sovereign debt crises that begun in 2011. They were picked up by Spanish lawmakers at the European Parliament on Tuesday during a hearing with Dijsselbloem.

However, the Dutch politician refused to apologize for such comments, saying these were not directed to one country, but to all countries. He also added that asking for fiscal discipline should not be seen as an attack.

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza