GUE/NGL MEP Patrick Le Hyaric has highlighted that “the millions of hard-working people struck by unemployment” were notably missing from José Manuel Barroso's “self-satisfied assessment” of his last 10 years at the Commission helm, adding that “in 10 years Barroso has managed to get the very idea of Europe itself hated”.

Addressing the future ex-President of the European Commission directly on the economic crisis which marked his decade in office, French MEP Le Hyaric said: “You were committed to handing over huge parts of the public sector to private hands and to speculating on our joint currency instead of investing in productive work. But not satisfied with that, you managed to transform private debt into public debt and even to bring in the IMF and its shock therapy to settle the situation. This seriously affected young people in Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Greece and now Italy and France too.”

Stating that economic and social progress were major European ideals, Le Hyaric slated Barroso: “Recently you refused the minimum wage for Europe, the extension of maternity leave and the genuine positive amendment to the posting of workers directive. And now the scope of this exploitation is to be extended with TTIP – a far-reaching transatlantic trade deal.

“We have to turn our backs on backward-looking austerity ideas and create a humanist Europe. We need a social re-launch. We need to work against the idea of bringing down the cost of work and put an end to the attacks on the environment too.”

MEP Le Hyaric concluded by calling for a social and environmental fund and major investment plan: “Without these, there will be no future for the European project.”

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