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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

'My reaction was excessive, but the journalist was rude': Italian MEP caught on camera responds

Italian MEP Renato Baldassarre has responded to the posting of the video in which he's seen pushing and slapping a Dutch journalist (or at least the journalist's microphone) after being caught on camera allegedly signing in for a day's work, and then sodding off.

We posted a cut down version of the video on our blog, and it has generated quite a bit of interest .

As we're always keen on a right to reply, we've now translated Mr Baldassarre's response below. Again, judge for yourself (and if you understand Italian, the full interview is available here).
"First of all, I’m really sorry about that episode and the relevance which was given to it. But the truth has to be re-established. I answered the questions that I understood in a very correct fashion, until the insistence – and I would also say the rudeness – of the interviewer has triggered a reaction, perhaps excessive, but also justified by the fact I was not exactly in the best of moods given that around that time I had received the news that a very close relative of mine had been hospitalised."

"That said, this is about the usual episodes aimed at highlighting waste and privileges allegedly involving the European Parliament...I have a very high attendance record, 90% in plenaries and 85-86% in the various Committees. On that specific day, I had just arrived and was going to my office where I stayed until 10pm. Therefore, I really believe the whole fabrication around this episode is frankly excessive."
It is also worth noting that this story has unfolded on the same day as the Parliament has told member states it will not accept the latest compromise proposal on the EU's long term budget. In other words, MEPs are still holding the budget cut negotiated by David Cameron and other EU leaders hostage. Not a great day for MEPs from a PR point of view...

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Renato,
Caught red handed and trying to prove your right? Wishing your close relative all the best. Hope he can afford his health-care, as most of the budget has probably been used to enrich you and your colleagues' lifestyle!
You're a poor excuse for a man and have shamed your country.

Anonymous said...

And we have got to believe this? No way. This 'gentlemen' is just stealing our taxmoney!

Dhr. Brom said...

Nothing is a valid excuse for attacking someone who is merely asking some very annoying and suggestive questions.

Politicians are role models to everyone else, and receive a fair payment for the significant effort involved in maintaining composure under the most stressful of situations.

Anonymous said...

It should be noted that the dutch video clip especially notes that he is pushing the elevator button downstairs to where the cars are parked.

He's not going to his office, but home..

Anonymous said...

Yeah sure..we believe you!...How come iam also not in a good mood after watching you?

Anonymous said...

You and your kind are a disgrace to Europe and your fellow Italians. All over Europe financial cuts have civillians in a chokehold and there you are frauding your way around. It's only a matter of time before this European parliament, and the national parliaments will be held accountable for their actions. >>>PRISM DISCLAIMER: I'm not threatening to use violence or calling upon fellow civillians to set up an uprising or disorderly behaviour in any form.<<< I'm simply aware of history and society's repetative habit of ending social problems surrounding the neverending seizement of power by selfproclaimed elite. You should all be ashamed of what you're doing to the people you're supposed to represent. You should look around and protect your countrymen from an uprising. But there you are... filling your bottomless pockets and telling lies. This continent belongs to none, but it is ruled by the people that live there, not the thieving selfproclaimed elite.

Anonymous said...

we can only hope the 'gentleman's' fellow countrymen can choose other officials to represent them from now on, but this is a european problem, not a national one.

Anonymous said...

There is a well known saying....If you can't stand the heath, don't go in the kitchen...As long as the EU population does not trust the behaviour of some members of the EU parlement you can expect more of these kind of intervieuws. So behave yourself, or... Don't go in the kitchen.

Anonymous said...

European Parliament = Supreme Soviet

It is an entirely cosmetic institution that we fund for on reason only: To give the EUSSR the patina of democracy.

These MEPs are an indulgence, nothing else, and indulgences cost money.

Ray said...

Why is he being allowed to sign in at that time of day with no questions asked?. Can he prove he was in his office until the time he says? Is his national government going to do anything about it after all the Italians are paying for it as well ?.

Freedom Lover said...

Close not just the EU Parliament down, but also the EU. They're both a complete waste of space, & are well past their sell-by dates!

Anonymous said...

As one of the great number of Anonymousers here today I find it impossible to read this blog properly because we can't tell if one Anon is the same person writing for the fourth time or what ????

PLEASE - they can still remain anonymous if they just choose a pseudonym - for that topic if necessary

PLEASE OPEN EUROPE STOP OFFERING THE "Anonymous" OPTION.

NB I normally post without using the "anonymous" label

Anonymous said...

So his office is in the basement, where the cars are parked, right next to the exit? Well, he must be a very humble servant of the European cause!

Rik said...

A normal thing down South (an openly dodgy politician), however totally unacceptable up North. And with the Euro crisis likely alot more will come up. Corruption in the East, ineffciency in the South (and the other way around). Explosive mix especially as it is in a climate where people everywhere also in the North face cuts.
Just look at the South (and the East) and its representatives and there will be a lot negative newsstories. I expect that the happen more often.

Strange that the EP has obviously not a electionstrategy. In the sense that they try to increase their credibility (basically everywhere). People might be sort of positive about the EP in polls. But the only relevant question is are they credible as a Parliament and does the voter feel him- or herself represented by the EP. Me thinks there is a lot of room for improvement (almost said there is only room for improvement).

Anyway for the UK the EP looks in a new set up basically useless. However the rest wil certainly want to keep it. Some modus has to be found for that.

I expect a lot of semi desillusioned voters use the opportunity to vote for a protest party. In Germany that will be too late for AfD (after the general election).
But I would not be surprised if IP becomes the largest UK party this run. The traditional stuff is hardly popular at the moment. Traditional parties and Cameron in particular at the moment (as far his own voterbase is concerned), not even to mention the EU. With one vote you can give a last warning to all of them. As said I expect a lot of people doing that.

Watching You said...

He claims he has a 90% attendance record...yeah, at 300 euro a pop that's easy money!

GEOFF said...

I SEE THAT THE BROADCASTER R.T.I. HAS NOW BLOCKED THE VID OF THE INTERVIEW ON 'COPYRIGHT' GROUNDS NO DOUBT USING ANOTHER QUAINT AND UNKNOWN EU LOOPHOLE!!

GEOFF.