icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

‘Greta syndrome’: Brussels forced to apologize TWICE after EU foreign policy chief dares to dismiss youth climate activism

‘Greta syndrome’: Brussels forced to apologize TWICE after EU foreign policy chief dares to dismiss youth climate activism
A European Commission spokesperson has flung herself on the public’s mercy days after the EU foreign policy chief had committed (and apologized for) the unpardonable sin of referring to youth climate activism as “Greta syndrome.”

EC spokeswoman Dana Spinant begged for forgiveness during a news conference on Monday, addressing the digital lynch mobs still raging over foreign policy head Josep Borrell’s comment dismissing children’s willingness to protest for “green” reforms during a debate last week. The Spanish politician argued the young activists were not aware of the consequences for their standard of living, branding the phenomenon a naive, privilege-spawned “Greta syndrome.”

Also on rt.com Greta nominated for Nobel Peace Prize AGAIN, as adults use teen to push climate narrative at expense of peace message

Borrell’s comments were “inappropriate,” Spinant said, insisting all commissioners were wholly on board with young campaigners against climate change. She referred those whose rage remained unquenched to an apologetic tweet from Borrell himself, posted Saturday: “We hope with that tweet…the situation is clarified.”

It is fine to demonstrate for climate change as long as you are not asked to contribute to pay for it,” Borrell said last Wednesday in Brussels in a video that has since become notorious. The European diplomat suggested that the throngs of young people taking to the streets to protest climate change might not be so enthusiastic if they knew what sacrifices they would have to make with regard to their standard of living in order to compensate “Polish miners” and others whose ways of life would be adversely affected by the new green future.

Referencing the name of the now-iconic child of privilege who has become the face of the youth climate movement merely put the cherry on top of this particular outrage sundae.

The idea that young people are seriously committed to climate change – we could call it the ‘Greta syndrome’ – allow me to doubt that.

Borrell took to Twitter to post multiple apologies in the following days, deferring to the “important youth movement fighting #climatechange,” but his contrition was no match for the multilingual rage coming his way on the platform. 

Commenters who called for his resignation and denounced “fascist” Spain clearly had more on their minds than his comments about the pint-sized activist. Several brought up his opposition to Catalonian independence, and his use of the term “disinfect” to describe his preferred approach to the region.

But it wasn’t just social media that wanted Borrell’s head on a plate for casting aspersions on the climate change movement. German Green MEP Reinhard Butikofer demanded “a very clear apology” on behalf of the “youth climate movement,” charging Borrell with making statements “counter of the policy of the EU.”  And his fellow EC officials couldn’t run from his words fast enough – spokesman Eric Mamer declared on Friday that the entire commission backed the European Green Deal, “which acknowledges and supports the ambitions of young and less young people to combat climate change.”

The EU aims to go “carbon neutral” by 2050 with an ambitious – and costly – plan that will require wealthier European nations to pony up some €100 billion in aid to poorer nations to ease the transition to a low-emissions economy.

One thing is certain - not even the unelected, seemingly unaccountable bureaucrats at the helm of the EU are permitted to criticize Saint Greta. Borrell is lucky he got off with just a warning.

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

Podcasts