‘We’re coming for you, Juncker!’ New movement vows end cosy existence of Brussels elite

Monday, September 11, 2017
By Paul Martin

A NEW movement being spearheaded by former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is vowing to shake up the cosy Brussels elite and threaten the jobs of euro bigwigs like Jean-Claude Juncker.

Mon, Sep 11, 2017

Diem25, a pro-democracy group which was set up 18 months ago, is now considering putting forward candidates for the European Parliament elections in 2019 to help shape the EU agenda.

This is despite the fact members of the movement, including Mr Varoufakis, have been scathing of the institution which they do not consider to be a proper legislative chamber.

The left-wing group describes itself as pro-European but frustrated with the sclerotic and undemocratic processes of the EU, which it wants to see radically reformed.

Mr Varoufakis, its most high-profile figure, is preparing to overshadow Mr Juncker’s flagship State of the Union speech on Wednesday with his own proposals for the future of the bloc.

In an outspoken intervention he said part of the reason for the club’s malaise was that EU fatcats are now too comfortable in their highly paid roles, from which they know they can effectively never be ousted.

And he was derisive about the EU Parliament, describing it as a powerless fig lead to democracy and “the only parliament in human history that cannot initiate legislation”.

There are 751 MEPs who are all paid a basic salary of £92,400 which is topped up by very generous expenses, daily allowances, tax breaks and pension contributions.

But it is only the EU Commission, which is staffed by unelected officials, that can propose new laws – although it does so based on the priorities laid down by the elected leaders of the 28 member states.

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