Eurocrat tells Greece it has enjoyed its “best years” as a member of the EU

Chief Eurocrat Charles Michel has been heavily criticised for a speech given in Athens last week in which he claimed Greece, the birthplace of modern democracy and science, has enjoyed “the best years in [its] history” as a member of the European Union.

The current president of the European Council was speaking to mark the 40th anniversary of Greece’s accession to the European Union and made a number of bizarre claims about the member state given the very evident demise of the nation’s economy in recent years.

“Since you formally joined our common Europe, which had always been yours, you have known the best years in your history,” Michel claimed, adding that EU membership “put you on the path to peace and prosperity”.

“There were difficult moments and controversies. Because democracy and freedom also mean the power to say ‘no’,” continued Michel.

“Europe is a construction built through “noes” that must be discussed so they can beturned into irreversible ‘yeses’. As you rebuilt your unity by transforming a ‘no’ into a massive ‘yes’ to the euro and to Europe. As Europe maintained its unity by reiterating ‘yes’ to Greece, remaining by its side during the crises of recent years.”

His comments drew widespread criticism when the European Council president posted a clip of his remarks on his social media accounts.

“’You have known the best years in your history’ … the nation that was the cradle of democracy and science? What utter arrogance,” replied one social media user.

“Who on earth do you think you’re kidding?” asked another. “Greece was decimated by EU, sacrificed upon the altar of Germany’s need for an artificial Euro exchange rate.”

Brexit MEP turned GB News’ journalist Alex Phillips accused the Eurocrat of “literally rewriting history” adding: “EU membership didn’t look so good during the Eurozone crisis when democratically elected leaders were removed, thousands lost jobs and were plunged into poverty via crippling austerity and Molotov cocktails flew through the skies.”

Her former Brexit Party colleague Martin Daubney simply asked Mr Michel: “Are you on drugs?”

GB News chairman Andrew Neil tweeted in response: “This is pretty much the Brussels equivalent of Stalin saying the Kulaks have never eaten better. Disgraceful, self-serving nonsense.”

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis posted: “Your ignorance of our history M. Michel is forgiven (Why should you know, for instance, that our growth rate was far greater, and that our democratisation deeper, before we joined the EEC?) It is the slavishness of our PM, watching you speak, that will remain forever unforgiven.”