Schnapps and Women: More MEPs call on Dijsselbloem to resign Eurogroup chair

Jeroen Dijsselbloem (Photo: Dijsselbloem (Photo:

Over 70 of the 751 European Parliamentarians sent a letter to Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem demanding that he apologize for his "Schnapps und Frauen" statement and resign. The letter is singed by MEPs from 15 countries, including the German leader of the Christian Democrats, ANP reports.

The letter refers to an interview Dijsselbloem, also the departing Dutch Minister of Finance, gave to a German newspaper last week. In it he said: "I can't spend all my money on booze and women [Schnapps und Frauen] and then ask for help." He was praising "Northern countries" showing solidarity with "crisis countries" and talking about fiscal discipline and responsibility that all EU countries must show. The Southern European countries interpreted the remark as a swipe at them.

The next day Dijsselbloem was attacked in European Parliament by Social Democrats leader Gianni Pitella. The Portuguese government called Dijsselbloem's words "absolutely unacceptable". And Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa called him "racist, xenophobic and sexist".

After Prime Minister Mark Rutte called Costa to try and calm te situation, Dijsselbloem released a statement in which he said that he regrets that offense was taken at his remark. He blamed it on his "Dutch directness", which is not always appreciated and understood, according to him.

In the letter now addressed to Dijsselbloem, te MEPs say that his remark was sexist and "clearly discriminatory and offensive" for several EU countries. About the Dutch directness, they say that "Calvinist culture has nothing to do with disrespect for other people."