Barroso appointment to Goldman Sachs ‘absolutely sickening’ - Matt Carthy MEP
Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has described the appointment of former European Commission President José Manuel Barroso to investment bank Goldman Sachs as a “sickening” confirmation of the corporate lobby revolving door in the European institutions.
Carthy said: “Barroso was President of the European Commission for a decade, from 2004 to 2014. He was the man at the helm during the global financial crisis and shaped the EU’s austerity-driven response to it, with devastating effects for the people of Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and many other countries.
“Now, after serving the absolute bare minimum of the 18-month cooling-off period, he has stepped into a plum role in one of the main institutions that caused the crisis.
“Just three months ago Goldman Sachs admitted to knowingly defrauding investors from 2005-2007 and was found guilty by the US Justice Department. The bank was fined more than $5 billion for its role in the global financial crisis.
“This appointment is absolutely sickening - but unfortunately it’s not surprising. It’s yet another example of the revolving door in the European institutions between EU officials and the major corporations that shape EU policy through relentless lobbying.
“Now the former Commission President, with all of his contacts and networks, will lobby the same institution he recently led for a massive and notoriously corrupt bank. His job will be to push the aggressive deregulation agenda that aims to reverse the measures put in place in the aftermath of the financial crisis.
Carthy, a member of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, continued: “Barroso should face sanctions from the European institutions for this brazen act, and his generous pension from the Commission should be cut. The Treaty on the Functioning of the EU clearly states that European commissioners must ‘respect the obligations arising therefrom and in particular their duty to behave with integrity and discretion as regards the acceptance, after they have ceased to hold office, of certain appointments or benefits’.
“The cooling-off period of 18 months, within which former EU officials cannot step into lobbying roles, is clearly not sufficient and must be extended significantly.
“This appointment will simply confirm the cynical view held by millions of people in Europe of the unhealthy relationship between the corporate lobby and officialdom. It brings all of the European institutions into disrepute.” ENDS