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Published on Jul 3, 2012
Speaking before the European Parliament, President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso on Tuesday said that "he was puzzled" by British Conservative MEPs as they "seem to delight in the difficulties of the euro area".
The outburst came after Chairman of the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the European Parliament Martin Callanan said that the euro is "driving people's of Europe apart"
"There are too many political forces that say one thign in Strasbourg and another thing in the capitals of the member states....it is also very important that political parties don't say one thing in Strasbourg and then a different thing in their national capitals. One important and interesting point was made by the British Conservatives today. It was in fact expressed some kind of satisfaction with the situation in the euro area. Let me tell you that it is puzzling that you seem to delight in the difficulties of the euro area and this is in stark contrast with the position taken by your leader, Prime Minister Cameron. So a good effort will be in terms of accountability to your public that you say the same thing here that you say in London..... I am also by the way very puzzled with the ease with which some of you are recommending some member states to leave the euro. This, once again is in complete contrast to the position taken by the PM of Britian, which for instance at the G8 summit said it is in his national interest that Greece stays in the euro area.
"And when some of you are suggesting that the problems of the economic situation in europe now are the result of the euro area and that for instance you disapprove the big bailout programmes in the banking sector in the euro area, let me just put the facts straight. The country by far that has been spending money with the banking sector is Britain. More than any country in the EU..... The country in all the EU that has been committing taxpayers money to save the financial sector has been by far Britain. This is not a euro area problem. This is a problem of the EU as a whole."