Jose Manuel Barroso, the former president of the European Commission from 2004 to 2014, is facing accusations that he has damaged the EU’s “integrity and reputation” with his decision to join US investment bank Goldman Sachs.
On Sunday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced he had ordered a probe into Barroso’s new role at Goldman Sachs – the institution with strong links to both the 2007-2008 financial crisis and the Greek debt debacle, which destabilized the euro currency – to determine whether Barroso had breached EU ethics guidelines.
In his letter to EU Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly, Juncker said he would be seeking clarification from Barroso on his new responsibilities and the terms of his contract with Goldman Sachs. He also assured the ombudsman that Barroso would be treated as a lobbyist when received in Brussels, not as a former president.
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