Barroso pelted with eggs at Belgian debate

barroso_smiling.jpg

Commission President José Manuel Barroso was pelted with eggs by youths who blamed him for austerity policies and the death of migrants in Lampedusa, during a debate on Europe's future in Liège, Belgium.

According to Europa Press, the eggs did not reach Barroso or any of the other participants at the debate, which included Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, but hit the scene where they were seated. The two youths were taken out of the room and the debate reportedly continued normally.

'Debating Europe' is a series of meetings with citizens in all EU countries, held during the 2013 'Year of citizens' and ahead of the 2014 European elections.

The incident reportedly took place after the first hour of debate, when the moderators gave the floor to the two young people in question.

The first one, male, told Barroso, citing an Eurobarometer survey, that "95% of your citizens reject austerity policies and are not heard." The second, female, accused him of being "responsible" for the "Fortress Europe" that caused the deaths of immigrants.

One of the moderators interrupted them to remind them that they were supposed to ask questions, but Barroso asked them to continue. "European farmers lose money for each egg they sell because of your policies of free trade," the first person said. They threw the eggs when they had their microphones taken away.

Barroso was recently booed during a visit to Lampedusa, the small Italian island near the coast of Italy where some 270 immigrants drowned in a shipwreck two weeks ago.

Barroso endured an earlier protest against him personally in his own country, Portugal, when citizens accused him of making the poor pay for the mistakes of bankers.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Subscribe

Want to know what's going on in the EU Capitals daily? Subscribe now to our new 9am newsletter.