Prendergast slams flag at half mast idea

A European Commissioner’s support for making over-indebted countries fly their flags at half mast as a symbol of their sins is half-witted and offensive, Labour MEP Phil Prendergast has said.

A European Commissioner’s support for making over-indebted countries fly their flags at half mast as a symbol of their sins is half-witted and offensive, Labour MEP Phil Prendergast has said.

Commissioner Gunther Oettinger was reported referring to indebted countries as ‘deficit sinners’ who would be ‘deterred’ by having their national flags flown at half mast over EU buildings.

Speaking from Strasbourg ahead of a major debate on the economic crisis, the Clonmel MEP said:

“The Irish flag would have to fly at half mast if Commissioner Oettinger has his way. The so-called deterrent in his eyes is humiliation. This is totally at odds with EU values, and unhelpful at a time when States most affected by the financial crisis struggle to get public acceptance for efforts to bring their debt under control”.