The Canadian who riled Jose Manuel Barroso

 
Jose Manuel Barroso speaks at a press conference in Los Cabos, Mexico 18 June 2012 Jose Manuel Barroso isn't known for his outbursts, but something at the G20 meeting provoked him

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President Obama has said that he tries to "prod" Europe, rather than "scold" its leaders.

Nevertheless, you might think that the President of the European Commission's uncharacteristically caustic outburst was aimed in the White House direction.

I watched with huge interest as Jose Manuel Barroso laid into the North Americans who lectured him on democracy and economics. Mr Barroso declared the crisis began here, not in the Eurozone.

As the BBC's Europe editor, I interviewed him many times, and I am afraid never managed to get quite such a pithy sound bite, let alone provoke him to quiver with anger.

So who did?

It wasn't Julia Gillard, the Australian prime minister, who had some advice for the Europeans but points out her country is not in North America.

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Maybe the US president may think twice before he does any more prodding. But given the scornful reaction to Mr Barroso's words, maybe he won't”

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It's likely the commission president's wrath was raised not by the leader of North America's most powerful country, but its biggest.

It was the Sun Media group's David Akin who asked the question that provoked the outburst. Mr Akin thinks it was in reaction to advice Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper had offered.

"The problems of the Eurozone remain very significant," Mr Harper said. "What European countries need to do, and what we will be looking to see, are clear commitments that they are prepared to take all of the actions, all of the necessary actions that are within their capacity to deal with these problems."

Fairly mild stuff when he is being asked to stump out Canadian dollars to help out the eurozone.

The Canadian media, a phlegmatic lot on the whole, seems to be taking a certain nationalistic pride in the fact it was probably their man who made the commission president crack.

Maybe the US president may think twice before he does any more prodding. But given the scornful reaction to Mr Barroso's words, maybe he won't.

 
Mark Mardell, North America editor Article written by Mark Mardell Mark Mardell North America editor

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 59.

    I like the labelling of Canadian media - a phlegmatic lot on the whole, in above article. True to the letter! By the way I am Canadian. Our media is a disgrace - no integrity!

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 58.

    52 Lucy
    “Even Fox is moving further+further to left every day”

    You could not make this stuff up. (Along with Lucy’s ‘theory’ that Obama is a fascist dictator and the Antichrist.)

    I think Lucy is moving further and further to the right every day...

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 57.

    "The problems of the Eurozone remain very significant," Mr Harper said. "What European countries need to do, and what we will be looking to see, are clear commitments that they are prepared to take all of the actions, all of the necessary actions that are within their capacity to deal with these problems."

    Seems like pretty sound advice to me. Time Europe's country's fish or cut bait !

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 56.

    I don't think it's any different than when you have to keep lending your kids money. You have a right to advise them to change their spending habits.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 55.

    Good on Harper.

    When the IMF asks Canadians to cough up cash to bail out the EU, then Harper gets to say whatever he likes.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 54.

    Pmk: remember Jimmy Carter

    That is why they say History Repeats Itself

    But Jimmy Carter was a gazillion times better than Obama domestic wise

    He never legalized illegals, stated his support for gay marriage, changed AIDS status, etc

    He never added trillions to USA debt by borrowing from China like Obama has

    Carter had his faults
    but he truly loved America as an American

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 53.

    34. crash
    NEWSFLASH:

    George W. Bush, The Worst President in US. history [except possibly for the traitor Buchanan-DEM and Warren G. Harding-GOP] is no longer in office.

    President Obama has disappointed, but is far from worst [there are a number of GOP presidents far worse: Grant, Harding, Hoover, Nixon and GWB].

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 52.

    Pmk: cannot possibly be wrong in the eyes of the leftist crowd

    Such group controls majority of tv networks, news+movie companies

    So these people can pick+choose what news they tell+how news is told

    Even Fox is moving further+further to left every day

    Feels kinda like media dictatorship

    When I do hear real news stories told in nonpartial manner
    it makes me excited to hear the truth

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 51.

    Barosso should listen to the Canadians. They largely escaped the downturn in the world's credit markets. They have a union of different cultures langauges, economies that works. Europe could learn a lot from Canada. The only thing Europe can teach Canada is what not to do. But I don't think Canadians were considering following the European model in any event.They'e too smart for that.

  • rate this
    -5

    Comment number 50.

    Lucy: "Four years ago Muslim Brotherhood was banned under Mubarack"



    If you want to blame Barack Hussein Obama remember Jimmy Carter who betrayed our staunhch ally, Shah Reza Pahalavi and allowed Muslim fanatics to take over in Iran.

    [Not that by not acting re Cuban proxies' invasions of Angola&Mozambique he did not encourage Russians to invade Afghanistan]

    2 mistakes we pay for today.

  • Comment number 49.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 48.

    Those who blame America for Europe's problems give us far too much credit.We never could have been nearly as effective especially had we tried.If we helped Europe over the cliff to even some degree, all the better. I also don't see why anyone would care what an EU official has to say. The EU probably won't be around much longer anyway.The EU wanted to "challenge" the US and now it has and failed

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 47.

    11.MrCinColumlbus

    Frankly, I agree with Mr. Barroso. We need to concentrate on getting our own house in order.


    Define 'our house'.

    Basques against the French, Catalonians against the Spanish, Lithuanians against Poles, Scots against the English, the Flemish against Walloons in itsy-bitsy Belgium, Ossies against Wessies
    (and vice versa) in the 'reunited' Germany..

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 46.

    If one just stops for a moment, s/he will remember housing market crash based on worthless, non repayable loans, that were then parcelled & sold on the derivative market. This was done knowingly; bankstas deciding that bundled derivatives could not be traced to source document(s). So what did huge investment banks think they were selling - AAA products? In my opinion, this action was/is criminal.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 45.

    A CANADIAN PM (not a U$A president) telling Europeans they have
    STRUCTURAL problems. Fancy that!

    It seems everybody beside EUSSR's Commi-ssars think EZ has SRTUCTURAL problems.

    While Commi-ssars think that dumping Greece, Ireland, Portugal, etc., will solve problems which has begun with a creation of a unsustainable artificial common currency for clearly incongruent economiesl

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 44.

    Provocative question arose from what PM Harper believed EU countries need to do. Canadians will be looking to see EU is prepared to take all of the actions, all of the necessary actions within capacity to deal with these problems.
    What arrogance! I am Canadian, & I am ashamed. Derivative rot is the problem, & it originated with huge US investment banks - you know the bailout bankstas.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 43.

    Not a good sign for the EU.

    Blaming the US for domestic problems is the mark of a third world country.

  • Comment number 42.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 41.

    Barrosos's hissy fit is instructive. He shifts the blame for the irresponsible actions of European politicians who have bought off their electorate with unrealistic promises of being paid for no work on the North americans. He learned this from Obama, who three and one half years into his presidency, still blames everything on George Bush. Europe should not look to the USA to fight this battle.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 40.

    So now Europe’s failures are Canada’s fault? I thought it was the US? Is Mexico next? Grow up! Face your problems and stop embarrassing the rest of us.

 

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