BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission’s Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager criticised on Wednesday the chairman of euro zone finance ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem for his comments seen as critical towards southern European countries.
Dijsselbloem told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper in an interview published on March 20 that:
“In the euro crisis, the northern euro zone states demonstrated solidarity with the countries in crisis. As a Social Democrat, I believe solidarity is extremely important. But whoever demands it, also has obligations. I can’t spend all my money on booze and women and then ask you for your support. This principle holds at personal, local, national and even European levels,” he told the paper.
His remarks drew sharp criticism in Spain and Italy and the Portuguese prime minister called for Dijsselbloem’s resignation.
“I can say I would not have said it. And I think it is wrong,” Vestager told a news conference.
Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop