The British MEP questioned the “sanity” of the European Union‘s financial framework during a heated debate on the EU’s future budget.
Mr Etheridge said: “The anti-logic of this place rejects sound and sane economics.
“Instead you look for ever more desperate ways to squeeze the taxpayers until the pips squeak.
“Interference in member states tax systems, introduction of new EU wide taxes, abolition of national vetoes. In short: spend, spend, spend, spend and spend again. Soon reality will hit.”
During his speech at the European Parliament (EP) in Strasbourg, Mr Etheridge also issued a stark warning to Brussels over its future.
He blasted: “The truth is that sooner or later you will run out of other people’s money.
“The time will come when the grand ideas of this project will be unaffordable. And this will reach even this place.
“I think some reality is starting to come through now. But when the real truth of financial sanity really hits you that will be the end of this place and this project.”
European institutions and their leaders have repeatedly come under attack at the latest EP plenary.
EU Commission boss Jean-Claude Juncker had to fend off criticism from allies and opponents alike after his right-hand man Martin Selmayr received a hasty promotion to the Commission’s secretariat-general.
Dutch MEP Sophie in ‘t’ Veld warned Mr Juncker the fate of the European Commission hanged in the balance as Mr Selmayr’s promotion threatened the credibility of the European Union.
She said: “‘Selmayrgate’ destroys all the credibility of the European Union as a champion of integrity and transparency in public administration.
“At times when public trust in the European Union is low, this is devastating. And the fact that the Commission remains deaf to criticism until today shows how disconnected it is from reality.”
Express.co.uk has contacted the European Commission and the European Parliament for comment.