The former state premier of Baden-Württemberg had little good to say about the European Union in a speech to a German, Belgian and Luxembourgian chamber of commerce in Brussels on Tuesday evening.
“It worries me that too many in Europe still believe that everything will be fine,” Oettinger said, according to the Bild newspaper. “Europe is ripe for overhaul.”
The 59-year-old member of Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) said many EU members had ceased to function politically: “It worries me that some countries are essentially ungovernable: Bulgaria, Romania, Italy.”
He also said that British Prime Minister David Cameron was hobbled by eurosceptical members of his own Conservative Party, “unspeakable backbenchers, his English Tea Party,” referring to the anti-government protest movement in the United States.
And Oettinger said France was “completely unprepared to do what’s necessary” to get its economy back on track.
The EU energy commissioner also didn’t spare Merkel – who sent him to Brussels – either.
Germany, Oettinger said, was jeopardizing its economic success with the wrong political agenda.
“Germany is at the highpoint of its economic ability. Germany will not get any stronger pursuing an agenda of Betreuungsgeld [child-care subsidies], quotas for women, minimum wage and rejecting fracking” for natural gas, he said.