BRUSSELS, March 22 Eurogroup head Jeroen
Dijsselbloem expressed regret on Wednesday for a German
newspaper interview but said he would not step down after
Portuguese prime minister called for his resignation over what
he called "xenophobic" remarks.
"I regret it if one is offended by the remark. It was
direct, and can be explained from strict Dutch, Calvinistic
culture, with Dutch directness," Dijsselbloem said.
"I understand that this is not always well understood and
appreciated, elsewhere in Europe. That is another lesson I take
on board," he said.
"At the same time, I think I am appreciated for keeping my
own style and that I with some strictness I address all
ministers, and I have to be strict sometimes. And yes, my style
is direct and again if people take offence in that I am sorry of
course," he said. "I have no intention to step down."
(Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)