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Right in his boots, Oettinger hardly convinces the deputies, worse he provokes them

(B2) Coming to a special session of Cocobu, the budgetary control committee, on Tuesday (March 27), Commissioner Günther Oettinger did not really convince the deputies present nor the journalist observers (including B2).

(credit: european parliament)

Oratory ping pong

At first sure of himself — “ we followed all the rules —, he finished with a much less friendly tone, pointing his finger at the deputies, tapping the flat of his hand on his desk, a sign of certain annoyance, and using threats, no longer hesitating to attack deputies, considered too pusillanimous. But above all he contradicted himself multiple times on details as well as on substance: starting with a very legal defense, then ending by conceding that this appointment was above all very political. As MEP Gilles Pargneaux (S&D) noted: “ after two hours of ping pong, you could make a career in the cinema because your answers are sometimes contradictory ».

A presentation that is too clear destabilizes Günther

This is especially after the presentation by the parliamentary lawyer, which was particularly clear, demonstrating that all the rules had perhaps not been respected (read: Selmayr case. Parliament's legal service gives a very clear opinion. Interesting), that the German, although experienced, has lost part of his means. Regarding the other people who had applied, he began by explaining that, in the name of the protection of personal data, he could not say anything but that as a token of goodwill, he was ready to communicate to a few deputies, in a separate room some documents…

Data protection except to swing nasty things

Then in the course of a sentence he blurted out, regarding the candidacy of the Spaniard, then deputy chief of staff who, in the meantime, had been promoted to chief of staff of Jean-Claude Juncker: “ she was not deemed competent for this position » (from general secretary). Which is, to say the least, a violation of personal data. And a complete lynching of a person subsequently appointed as President Juncker's chief of staff.

Martin Selmayr at an EPP meeting: not aware

The funniest thing was, however, when the commissioner said he did not know at which meeting (Editor's note: from the EPP) Martin Selmayr had been able to participate, before coming back to it by giving a few details: the chief of staff "haswas waiting at the meeting door with the phone”, to provide assistance if necessary. " It has always been done like this ».

A disastrous effect among MPs

As his presentation progresses, support fades away. Among the MEPs speaking, none was there to defend the Commission's position. And the attitude of the commissioner didn't really help. If the deputies had left with a beforehand not very favorable to the Commission, most of the interventions remained quite moderate in language, and rather open in spirit. Several poles were even extended to the Commission.

vexatious behavior

Not only did Oettinger catch none, but he vexed even those who were ready to give him contrition. At the end of his presentation, he provoked, on several occasions, laughter on the benches of journalists and deputies alike, because his remarks were so contradictory to what he had said previously. During her intervention, the face of Ingeborg Grässle, chair of the session, member of the same party as the commissioner (the CDU), was largely closed.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

(1) When I asked a spokesperson about this disastrous result, past the circumstantial defense, came this word: “ But you know Oettinger. He's like that »… Weariness

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).