EU in ‘MORTAL DANGER’: These FOUR member states ‘want to DESTROY us’ rages Brussels boss
THE European Union is in “mortal danger” because a number of nations want to destroy it, budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger has sensationally claimed.
Guenther Oettinger outlines plans to fill ‘Brexit blackhole
The Brussels boss said Europe would only be able to show it remains capable of being strong against a number of challenges facing it if national leaders and the European Parliament could quickly agree the EU’s next long-term budget.
Speaking at an event organised by Germany’s Federal Association of Non-Statutory Welfare Services on Tuesday evening, Mr Oettinger picked out four countries the EU has been feuding with as ones that want to “weaken or even destroy” it.
Commenting on the threats to the European Union, he told an audience during the event in Brussels: “In my view, the project is in mortal danger.
“Some within Europe want to weaken it or even destroy it — Poland, Hungary, Romania, the government of Italy.”
Mr Oettinger also picked out Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and “the clever Chinese” as putting the EU at risk by using trade wars and aggression.
The Budget Commissioner, a senior official within Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats and a long-time ally of the German Chancellor, even attacked his own country Germany for not showing enough enthusiasm for the EU, particularly when it comes to the budget.
He labelled Social Democrat Finance Minister Olaf Scholz as “an even stricter treasurer in that regard” than his Conservative predecessor Wolfgang Schäuble.
According to Politico, Mr Oettinger claimed the first chapter of the German government’s coalition deal is entitled to “a new start in Europe”
But he said: “I see nothing of that in the current debates in Berlin. Absolutely nothing.”
Commenting on whether Germany wanted to join a group of other nations from the bloc in pushing for a smaller EU budget, he added: “Help to make sure the German government doesn’t make cuts, as it did last time.”
Last week, Mr Oettinger said he saw a “50-50” chance and “100 percent good arguments” for the EU to reach a budget deal before the next European Parliament election, which will be held from May 23-26, 2019.
The Budget Commissioner added that he hoped the European Council summit in December would address major Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) topic and find new ways to accelerate talks before Easter.
The MFF is a seven-year framework regulating its annual budget and sets out the maximum amount of spend in the EU budget each year for a number of policy areas.
Mr Oettinger has said that blocking the long-term budget “is in the interest of no member state”, but has received strong opposition and criticism of it from a number of EU members recently, in particular Italy.
Last week, he rubbished Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio’s claims that Italy contributes €20 billion to the EU.
Both Mr Di Maio and Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini threaten to withhold Italy’s alleged €20 billion contributions to the Brussels bloc unless member states agreed to share the burden of asylum seekers docking in southern Italian ports.
Mr Oettinger – who warned Rome of the “heavy sanctions” Italy would incur into if it failed to meet budget requirements on Friday – argued Italy’s contribution to the EU is as little as €3 billion a year.
He said: “We should correct the figures. It’s not €20 billion a year.
“Italy pays in €14bn, €15bn, 16bn a year. If you take into account what they get out of the EU budget, that leaves a net contribution of €3bn a year.
“€20bn is a travesty.”