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Furious Jean-Claude Juncker lashes out at 'ridiculous' European Parliament

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 04/07/2017 By James Crisp
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Watch: Nobody likes me! Juncker loses it with EU Parliament (Provided by: Sky News)

Jean-Claude Juncker today branded the European Parliament “ridiculous” after only 30 MEPs turned up to his speech in Strasbourg.

Mr Juncker and Joseph Muscat, the prime minister of Malta, were speaking in the parliament. Malta, the bloc’s smallest member state, has just finished its term as holders of the six-month presidency of the EU.

Furious Jean-Claude Juncker lashes out at 'ridiculous' European Parliament

The European Commission president was furious that so few MEPs "bothered" to attend. He accused the MEPs of ignoring Muscat because Malta was a small country.

“If it had been Mrs Merkel or Mr Macron it would have been full house,” he said, referring to the leaders of Germany and France.

“The fact that there are only 30 MEPs present in this his debate only illustrates the fact that parliament is not serious. I’m putting that to you today,” Mr Juncker, the former prime minister of Luxembourg, said.

He was twice rebuked by European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, who acts as speaker, for not having “a respectful attitude”.

“You may criticise but the commission does not control the parliament. It is the parliament that should control the commission,” Mr Tajani said to scattered applause in the empty chamber.

"I would ask you please to change your language. We are not ridiculous, please, please."

“There are only a few MEPs in the plenary to control the commission. You are ridiculous,” an unrepentant Mr Juncker replied before insisting he would “never again attend a meeting of this kind”.

In his speech, Mr Muscat described Brexit as a “disastrous creature” that the EU had done nothing to stop. 

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