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EU's Juncker calls empty European Parliament 'ridiculous'

July 4, 2017 4:34 pm

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has launched a bitter attack on members of the European Parliament for failing to show up.

Standing up in almost empty chamber in Strasbourg, he denounced the body as “ridiculous, totally ridiculous”.

Estimating the number of MEPs present at about 30, he said it proved that the parliament was “not serious”.

Parliament President Antonio Tajani reacted furiously, accusing him of a lack of respect.

“You can criticise the Parliament, but it’s not the Commission’s job to control the parliament, it’s the Parliament that has to control the Commission,” he said.

But the clash continued. Mr Juncker, who is in charge of the EU’s executive body, angrily rebuked MEPs for failing to attend the session reviewing the six-month presidency of Malta, the bloc’s smallest member state.

It was one of the most acrimonious public rows between top EU officials in recent years. A Parliament spokesman said later that the two men had met and Mr Juncker had expressed regret for the words he had chosen.