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Barroso’s legacy must not endure

Press Release

Wednesday 22 Oct 2014

‘As Barroso’s second term at the helm of the European Commission comes to an end, he leaves behind a legacy of unemployment and looming deflation’, MEP for Dublin, Nessa Childers, said today┬áin Strasbourg.Ms. Childers was commenting on Mr. Barroso’s defence of his track record at his final appearance, before the European Parliament.

Ms. Childers said: “Mr. Barroso may claim, in his defence, he had to weather the worst crisis in the history of the European Union, but he never acknowledged that the financial crisis was brought about by the same kind of policies he spearheaded, and which in turn made it escalate into a destructive economic crisis across the continent.

“Not even once, in his parting speech, did Mr. Barroso mention the scourge of unemployment, by far the most visible social phenomenon more than half a decade after the crisis and his austerity-based response.

“Acting at the behest of the majority of conservative governments that appointed him, Mr. Barroso consistently let selfish national interests and priorities run over the common interests of European citizens. Incredibly, he claims to have increased the power of the Commission.

“His statement was the typical exercise in denial and deflection of responsibility that parliamentarians became used to over his tenure.

“Mr. Barroso chose to run to the virtually unconditional rescue of the financial sector and its creditors, at the expense of the needs of their victims.

“He chose to ignore how the architecture of the common currency facilitated and exacerbated the crisis, especially in smaller, peripheral countries.

“Even when he took the first steps to address those flaws, he went down a moralising path that served conservative interests and divided Member States, punishing vulnerable citizens with loss of disposable income, public services and welfare entitlements.

“The short-term fate of our citizens’ well-being and the long term fate of the European project hinge on significant change.

“Barroso’s sorry legacy should be repudiated.”