Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the president (for now) of the Euro Group, has managed to offend just about every Southern European nation with the following comment (in reference to recent EU bailouts), at a time that relations between Europe’s north and south are already strained:
“You can’t just spend all your money on alcohol and women and then ask for help.”
It’s fair to say that Dijsselbloem was not speaking literally, but he could have chosen a far better metaphor to illustrate his point — preferably one that doesn’t depict Southern Europeans as alcoholics and prostitutes. In a heated exchange today in the European parliament (featured below), Spanish MEP Ernest Urtasun invited Dijsselbloem to retract the statement he’d made in an interview with German newspaper ‘Frankfurter Allgemein Zeitung‘. He refused, not once but twice.