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Juncker lashes out at 'ridiculous' European Union parliament

04 July 2017

The European Parliament is "totally ridiculous", EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a heated outburst in Strasbourg on Tuesday.

Juncker took offense at the very low number of MEPs who attended a debate that was meant to review the outcomes of the Maltese presidency which was viewed by many observers as a particular success.

Speaking about the Maltese prime minister, Joseph Muscat, who was also there to report on his government's work during the European Union presidency, Juncker added that "if Mr Muscat was Ms Merkel (chancellor of Germany) or Mr Macron (president of France), we would have a full house".

"The European Parliament is ridiculous, totally ridiculous", Juncker told the chamber, which seats 751 deputies. I would like to welcome those that have actually taken the trouble to turn up this morning.

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"The fact that there are only 30 MEPs present for his debate only illustrates the fact that parliament is not serious".

"Mr President, I ask you, please use different language". If Mr Muscat was Ms Merkel, this would be inimaginable-or Mr Macron-we would have a full house! "You are ridiculous", Juncker replied.

Juncker was referring to Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and Emmanuel Macron, the French president.

But Mr Juncker shot back: "There are only a few members in the plenary to control the commission, you are ridiculous".

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"I will never attend a meeting of this kind".

"The Commission is subject to the control of the Parliament, but the Parliament must respect the presidency, even if it is held by the smaller countries, and this does not happen".

This is not the first time that a small turnout discusses matters concerning Malta - the same happened during a debate on the rule of law - although Malta's successful presidency may have inspired few MEPs to make the meeting. The behaviour of MEPs mirrors however only the actual power relations in the council between the member states, Giegold commented in press statement on 4 July. The parliament has increased its clout over the past year but numerous decisions are still made by the leaders of the member states or the Commission. Instead, Juncker called the Parliament "ridiculous".

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Juncker lashes out at 'ridiculous' European Union parliament