More than 77,000 people signed a petition calling for “exemplary measures” against former European Commission Chief Jose Manuel Barroso for joining Goldman Sachs.
Barroso served as president of the European Commission for 10 years up to 2014. He joined Goldman Sachs as an advisor and non-executive chairman last month.
The Change.org petition was started by a “spontaneous group of employees of the European Institutions,” and is open until the end of the month.
Goldman Sachs is singled out as being “one of the banks most implicated in the subprime crisis that led to the financial crisis of 2007-2008 — the worst since the Great Depression — as well as one of the banks most involved in the Greek debt crisis, having helped Greece dissimulate its deficit before speculating in 2009-2010 against it in full knowledge of the unsustainability of its debt.”
Barroso’s new job has attracted criticism, especially from France. When his move was announced, the leader of France’s far-right, Marine Le Pen, said it was not surprising as because “the EU serves big finance, not the people.”
Barroso’s decision to take the Goldman Sachs job “is a further example of the irresponsible revolving-door practices, which are highly damaging to the EU institutions and, even if not illegal, morally reprehensible,” the petition said.
The group wants the European Court of Justice to probe Barroso’s behaviour and suspend “his pension allowance as former President of the European Commission for the period of his employment at Goldman Sachs and beyond,” and strip him of “all possible honorary titles linked to the European Institutions.”