Reacting to Canadian PM Harper's contention that Europe should not seek bailout funds outside of Europe, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said Europe doesn't need lessons from across the Atlantic.
At a press conference during the G20 Summit Monday, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso fired back at critics who say Europe should bail itself out, arguing that the euro crisis was spurred by “unorthodox practices” across the Atlantic.
“We are extremely open and we are engaging with our partners but we certainly are not coming here to receive lessons from nobody!” Barroso, former prime minister of Portugal, exclaimed in English.
An hour before at the G20 Summit, held in Los Cabos, Mexico, Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper challenged Europe to overhaul the Eurozone to create a “genuine” financial union, the Montreal Gazette reported. Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard weighed in the day before, criticizing European leaders while boasting about her country’s economic growth, according to The Australian.
Barroso’s outburst was triggered by Canadian journalist David Akin, who asked him to explain “why North Americans should risk their assets for a Europe that many believe is wealthy enough to sort out its own problems.”
Canada and the United States have refused to contribute to a fund drive by the International Monetary Fund to help Europe. So far, the IMF has raised $430 billion from countries around the world -- about half of the money came from European nations -- to double its lending capability.
Although President Barack Obama would need Congress to approve a transfer to the IMF, a nearly impossible proposition, it appears the president wouldn't support the action. In April, his Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, said Europe should solve its own economic problems, The New York Times reported.
“Europe is a rich continent,” Geithner said, according to the Times.
The need to outline a lasting strategy to save the euro currency and the escalating violence in Syria are on the agenda, as world leaders meet in Los Cabos, Mexico for a G20 summit. NBC's Chuck Todd reports.
Back at the summit, Barroso remained defensive.
“Many of our financial sectors were contaminated by, how can I put it? Unorthodox practice from some sectors of the financial market,” Barroso said, referring to Wall Street banking practices that triggered the recession.
He added that while deliberations among the 27 members of the European Union may take time, Europeans do not need advice from other nations.
“Frankly, we are not coming here to receive lessons in terms of democracy or in terms of how to handle the economy,” Barroso said. “The European Union has a model that we may be very proud of.”
NBC’s Rich Gardella contributed to this report.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story misidentified Jose Manuel Barroso’s title. He was prime minister of Portugal from 2002 to 2004.
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