Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann launched a broadside on Friday at British Prime Minister David Cameron, accusing him of sending mixed messages when it comes to the EU.
What Cameron said depended on whether he was addressing the British people or a meeting in Brussels, Faymann told yesterday’s edition of Austria’s daily newspaper Standard.
Such an attitude undermined his trust in the British leader, said Faymann, a Social Democrat.
Cameron, under pressure from the euroskeptic wing of his Conservative party and from opinion polls suggesting growing hostility to the EU in Britain, has stepped up his criticism of the bloc.
He is due to give a long-awaited speech later this month, in which he is expected to offer a referendum after general elections in 2015 on taking back powers from the 27-member bloc.
Cameron got a generally positive reception from the British press after taking a tough stance during budget talks at November last year’s EU summit.
Last month, EU President Herman Van Rompuy warned that Cameron’s bid to win back powers from the EU threatened to undermine the single market.
This week, a US official expressed concern about Britain’s plans. US Assistant Secretary for European Affairs Philip Gordon warned that every hour spent arguing over the EU’s structures, was “one hour less spent on how to deal with the common issues of jobs, growth and international peace around the world.”