Thursday, 05 December, 2019

'You are ridiculous': Jean-Claude Juncker in extraordinary rant at EU Parliament

MEPs have met with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad GETTYMEPs have visited controversial leaders and dangerous countries
Christy Curtis | 06 July, 2017, 01:59

Juncker retorted: "There are only a few members in the plenary to control the commission".

More importantly, the European Parliament is chastised by the Commission: it is the only parliament which has no right of initiation, meaning it does not have the right to propose legislation. "You are ridiculous." Overriding Tajani's interruption, he added: "I will never again attend a meeting of this kind".

The debate was about the Maltese presidency of the European Council, which recently ended.

"This is not serious".

He went on to say that if German Chancellor Angela Merkel or French President Emmanuel Macron had been present, the situation would have been different.

His remarks sparked an angry exchange with European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, who told him off for being disrespectful. He said: "It is not up to the Commission to control the Parliament; it's up to the Parliament to control the Commission".

"I would like to welcome those that have actually taken the trouble to turn up this morning", he said to looks of astonishment at the meeting in the Strasbourg seat of the parliament. We are not ridiculous.

In theory, the Members of the European Parliament (MEP) are supposed to proportionally represent the citizens of the union's member states.

MEPs taking trips from Strasbourg row over travel
GETTYMEPs in European Parliament in Strasbourg could be forced to regulate trips

"The Commission does not control the parliament".

In an effort to placate opponents of the deal, the European Parliament adopted a non-legislative resolution on Wednesday in which MEPs urged the EU to assist "the economic and political transition in Cuba" including towards "democratic standards".

But when he took the floor, around 9.15 in the morning, the room was nearly empty.

Antonio Tajani, the normally mild-mannered president of the Parliament, interjected.

"If Mr Muscat had been Mrs Merkel it would be hard to imagine - or if Mr Macron, more unimaginable".

"Mr President, could you please have a more respectful attitude". I wanted to pay homage to the Maltese government and the Prime Minister. We are not ridiculous.

The most important part of Juncker discussion with Tajani, was how to make this not happen again.

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