De Jong disappointed by Barosso’s empty speech

7 September 2010

De Jong disappointed by Barosso’s empty speech

President of the European Commission Jose Barroso today gave his ‘State of the Union’ address at the European Parliament. SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong had low expectations of Barroso’s speech and these were fully met. ‘Barroso talks a lot but says little, he uses long words and expresses big ideas, but comes out with no new, concrete plans,’ says De Jong.

Dennis de JongFree market

Barroso said what we have heard so often: the free market is not the cause of the economic crisis but its solution. The state’s irresponsible spending brought about the crisis and must now be tightly reined in: the so-called exit strategy. The SP fears that this strategy will nip the nascent economic recovery in the bud. “What’s more this crisis was of course not caused by the state but by casino capitalism,” says De Jong.

In his love of ever more market Barroso specified in particular the creation of a European energy market. “As evidence for this he explicitly mentioned the alleged success of the telephone market,” notes De Jong. “But he conveniently forgot to mention that the European Commission itself has had to act against high tariffs for consumers. Hardly a positive example of the way in which the free market works for the consumer.’ In the SP’s view energy is a basic need which should not be left to the market.


The debate was greatly hyped beforehand. The hemicycle must be well-attended, so MEPs were threatened with a reduction in their daily allowance. Barroso wants to be treated as a ‘president’ just like President Obama in the US, but has neither the power not the authority of a real president. De Jong had complained in advance of the speech of ‘blackmail’ aimed at pressuring Euro-MPs into turning up and clapping Barroso. The SP is in any case in favour of scrapping the daily allowance completely. In the event Dennis de Jong did not attend the speech in the hemicycle, but followed it via the TV link available to Members in their offices. “Real work goes on as ever,” he says, “and Barroso had nothing new to say.”

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