Former European Commission President under fire for taking Goldman Sachs gig

Nearly 80,000 people have signed a petition calling for him to be stripped of his EU pension...

Former European Commission President under fire for taking Goldman Sachs gig

Picture by: Chris Radburn / PA Archive/Press Association Images

An online petition protesting former European Commission President José Manuel Barroso taking a position at Goldman Sachs has now received over 78,000 signatures.

The Change.org petition was started by a "group of employees of the European Institutions" and decries Barroso's move as "morally reprehensible" and representing "irresponsible revolving-door practices".

It calls for punitive measures to be taken against Barroso, including the suspension of his EU pension.

It was announced that he would become the non-executive chairman of the investment bank in early July. French President François Hollande has already described the move as "morally unacceptable".

The civil servants behind the petition are aiming to hit 150,000 signatories and will present it to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker at the end of September. It will also be seen by European Council president Donal Tusk and European Parliament leader Martin Schulz.

According to the Financial Times, there is no legal basis for suspending Barroso's pension of over €100,000, as he fully complied with an 18-month restriction period that came into play when he left the position in October 2014.

Barroso held the presidential position between 2004 and 2014. Prior to joining the commission, he was Portugal's Prime Minister between 2002 and 2004.