Irish Airline CEO Eviscerates EU Bureaucrats

Erika Johnsen

12/20/2011 1:54:00 PM - Erika Johnsen

Michael O'Leary, the CEO of the Irish airline Ryanair, is not pleased. He and his ilk are being relentlessly persecuted by the European Union for the oh-so-heinous crimes of innovation, free market competition, and producing a service that people actually want to buy.

His rant, in front of an EU conference on innovation, is a thing of honest beauty. I recommend at least watching the first few minutes:

"The reason [other airlines] fail to innovate, and the reason why the airline industry is in such a mess, is because its run by politicians and bureaucrats who like nothing more than to pass another regulation when something is working," O'Leary said at an EU conference on innovation. "I remember Ronald Reagan's quote in the U.S. that the economic policy of government and bureaucrats is always, 'if it moves, tax it; if it keeps moving, regulate it; and if it stops moving, subsidize it;' and I think that's a policy that's much beloved in Brussels [the administrative capitol of the EU]."

O'Leary said "get the hell out of Brussels" to entrepreneurs at the conference in a mocking critique of the EU. "Because Brussels, those of you who know the Star Wars Trilogy, this is the evil empire,' he said. "The Berlaymont is the Death Star, where any hint of innovation is left at the door as you walk in to meet with bureaucrats and politicians, who you can always tell when they're telling lies because their lips are moving."