The European Commissioner for Energy, German Günther Oettinger (in picture) recently said in an interview for German media that Romania, Bulgaria and Italy are ‘fundamentally, almost impossible to govern’. His statement triggered reactions from the Italian media, and Germany somehow withdrew the statements, via the spokesperson of German chancellor Angela Merkel, who said such comments about Italy would never be heard from the German Government. The Italian media however still asked Oettinger to either withdraw his statement publicly, or resign from the European seat.
Nothing was further mentioned about Romania and Bulgaria, however. Romania’s Foreign Affairs Minister Titus Corlăţean said he was extremely surprised of the comment, and that Romania is awaiting public, convincing official explanations, before making further comments.
Ottinger has been the European Commissioner for Energy since 2010. Prior to that, he was involved in the regional politics of his home state of Baden-Württemberg, being chairman of the Christian Democratic Union’s (CDU) parliamentary group in the regional parliament, and then Minister President of the state.
(photo source: http://ec.europa.eu, photographer Felix Kundermann)