Who does Juncker think he is?

14 December 2014

Who does Juncker think he is?

President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker this week gave the Greeks a bit of unsought advice: don’t vote for Syriza (the SP’s sister party), because this will push the entire Eurozone into crisis. A statement of this kind is unprecedented from a Commission president. A European Commissioner isn’t a minister, after all, but a kind of senior civil servant whose task is to assist the member states. Juncker wants, however, to see a real politicisation of the Commission, seeing himself it seems as a sort of prime minister or possibly as president of a federal Europe. Basically, he’s gone off his head.

You could already see this during the European elections. The debate between the four so-called candidates for the Commission presidency was meant to persuade people to vote. The broadcast was watched by the proverbial two men and a dog, but both Juncker and the chair of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, referred to being directly elected by Europe’s voters. Nonsense of course: I doubt many supporters of our own right-wing liberal party the VVD were saying with their votes that they wanted Guy Verhofstadt to get the job. And how many supporters of the centre-right CDA, Dutch affiliates to the European Parliament’s biggest political group, the European People’s Party, had Juncker in mind when they stood there in the polling booth?

It was no more than a puppet show, but the puppets themselves believed in it, and that’s extremely dangerous. Most people simply said no to this EU by not bothering to vote, or by voting for Eurosceptic candidates. For them there was, however, no candidate for Commission presidency. That place remained empty. For that reason alone modesty would befit those who stood, which certainly goes for Juncker, all the more because tax scandals mean he is already in hot water. It recently became known that during his time as prime minister of Luxembourg he actively assisted Amazon in avoiding paying taxes. Nice for the voters of our own CDA to know that, according to the Europhiles, they have helped a person of this kind to become president of the Commission. .

In reality Juncker should simply do the honourable thing and resign. That’s why the SP supported the no confidence motion presented in Strasbourg at last month’s plenary. But evidently Juncker is so convinced of his merits that he won’t only be remaining in place, but feels that he must lay down the law to Greece’s voters. Who the hell does he think he is? In my view he’s no more than a fraudster obsessed by power. Of course, there’s plenty more of them in Brussels.

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