Belgian bank chief slams Cantona but understands 'animosity'
The head of Belgium's central bank on Tuesday slammed Eric Cantona's call to citizens to empty their bank accounts while saying he understood popular "animosity" towards the financial sector.
"Nobody can wish for the banking system to collapse," Guy Quaden told RTBF radio,
But the head of the BNB said he understood "the degree of animosity of the population towards bankers after the stupidities done by some of them".
Tens of thousands of people have said they will take up the call made by former Manchester United icon Cantona in a video interview to bring down the "corrupt, criminal" banking system next Tuesday.
"The three million people in the street, they go to the bank, withdraw their money, and the banks collapse... That's a real threat, there's a real revolution," said the French football legend in the video that has gone viral on the Internet.
On Monday evening, the head of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, Jean-Claude Juncker, dubbed Cantona's web campaign "irresponsible".
"I have various feelings towards the financial sector, but I find the operation you are referring to totally irresponsible," Luxembourg Prime Minister Juncker said after talks in Brussels.
He also said citizens "do not have the savings he has."
European Union economic affairs commissioner Olli Rehn, once a director of a Finnish first division club, said he considered himself a Man United fan, but added: "I think Mr Cantona is a better footballer than he is an economist."
© 2010 AFP