Barroso says Goldman is 'no drug cartel', blasts EU judgment
- Wall St. slips as countdown to Trump's swearing-in begins
- Western Union (WU) Admits Anti-Money Laundering and Consumer Fraud Violations, Forfeits $586M in Settlement
- Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) Tops Q4 EPS by 1c; Subs Beat Views
- Apple (AAPL) PT Raised to $140 at BofA/Merrill Lynch; iPhone 8 Will be 'Super-Long' Cycle
- Morgan Stanley Upgrades Tesla Motors (TSLA) to Overweight
Outgoing European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso addresses a news conference at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels October 29, 2014. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo
Get inside Wall Street with StreetInsider Premium. Claim your 2-week free trial here.
LISBON (Reuters) - Former European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on Friday put up a spirited defense of his right to work for U.S. bank Goldman Sachs, after the commission opened an ethics probe into his move, and he accused it of acting arbitrarily.
"Why would I not have the right to work where I choose, if it is a legal entity, obviously, not a drug cartel?" a visibly agitated Barroso, who is a former Portuguese prime minister, said in his first public comments to reporters at an event in Cascais near Lisbon.
Goldman appointed Barroso as non-executive chairman of its international arm in London two weeks after Britons voted for Brexit in June and he said he would advise it on issues arising from the negotiations for Britain to leave the European Union.
Many ex-commissioners have taken roles with private firms. But EU officials say the view of Goldman Sachs in European public opinion after the 2008 financial meltdown has made Barroso's move damaging to EU institutions. Many Europeans hold the U.S. institution partly responsible for the crisis, which nearly broke the euro.
Barroso's successor Jean-Claude Juncker asked the Commission's ethics panel earlier this month to look into whether Barroso had breached a requirement to act with integrity.
But Barroso, who has previously sent a letter to Juncker calling the claims baseless and discriminatory against him and Goldman Sachs, said he did not regret his decision and again attacked his critics.
"Who defines what banks one can work at? This is arbitrary, discretionary treatment for political purposes."
He lauded Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa for requesting explanations from Juncker last week "on the differentiated treatment of Barroso compared to other people in apparently identical situations".
"The prime minister may agree or not with my attitude and my choice, but he is defending me as a Portuguese," Barroso said.
"As a Portuguese and European citizen I do not accept being limited in my rights. I have done everything transparently, scrupulously following the rules," he said, referring to a code of conduct requiring former commissioners to seek permission before taking jobs for up to 18 months after stepping down.
(Reporting by Andrei Khalip Editing by Axel Bugge; Editing by Hugh Lawson)
Serious News for Serious Traders! Try StreetInsider.com Premium Free!
You May Also Be Interested In
- Netflix (NFLX) Record Sub Growth Drives Top-Line Acceleration - Goldman Sachs
- Egypt PM says cabinet reshuffle likely to be approved by month-end
- Americans want to rebuild roads, bridges, but not at cost of taxes: Reuters Poll
Create E-mail Alert Related CategoriesReuters
Related EntitiesGoldman Sachs
Sign up for StreetInsider Free!
Receive full access to all new and archived articles, unlimited portfolio tracking, e-mail alerts, custom newswires and RSS feeds - and more!