GUE/NGL condemns the threatening statements of Commissioner Günther Oettinger against Italian voters for their democratic choices.

Italians do not need lessons from the markets on who or how they should vote. Commissioner Oettinger is the one who should be taught a lesson in democracy and respect for European citizens. If not, Oettinger should resign for bringing disrepute to his role through sheer arrogance and those offensive comments.

However, it is wrong to reduce the incident to Oettinger’s words. In reality, his statements are an expression – albeit harsh yet unambiguous – of the ideology underpinning the policies of Juncker’s Commission and the broader EU establishment. An ideology that puts markets above the people of Europe and the interests of the richest one percent above the other 99, who for the past years have suffered greatly under the unjust and one-sided austerity policies by the EU elites.

These policies, mercilessly executed by successive Italian governments, led to the rise of the right-wing eurosceptics in Italy, which besides being the EU’s third-largest national economy, has historically been one of the most pro-European member states. 

The EU elites really ought to reflect on their mistakes: the collapse across swathes of the EU of the political systems that have endorsed this self-destructive process as well as the need to acknowledge the continuous lack of social justice in the Eurozone.

Instead, the EU establishment continues down this path towards a catastrophe, reaching a new low with threats and blackmail, and claiming an absurd right to circumvent the will of the people.

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