Juncker health problems exposed at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation event

Lester Mason
July 13, 2018

The EU has denied "insulting" suggestions that European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker was drunk at this week's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, saying he was suffering from sciatica.

Jean-Claude Juncker is the leader of the European Commission.

The Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, told Dutch TV that he was not aware that Juncker had "serious health problems" but knew that he "had a back problem for a while".

Juncker was stumbling and swaying to the extent that the presidents of Finland and Ukraine, among others, had to help keep the 63-year-old upright.

A spokesperson for Jean-Claude Juncker has slammed "insulting" insinuations that the European Union chief had been drunk at a gala dinner in Brussels on Wednesday.


"The President, on Wednesday night, suffered a particularly painful attack of sciatica accompanied by cramps", the spokesperson said, adding that Junker had publicly stated in the past that sciatica affects his ability to walk. He added that Juncker made no secret about his illness and is now on medication and feels better. However, later in the day, EU Commission said that its President was suffering from back pain, thus confirming previous EU officials' claims.

Sciatica is pain and numbness in the backside and legs that can cause difficulties walking.

'I think it's more than tasteless that some press tried to make insulting headlines by exploiting president Juncker's pain. "I don't think this is elegant and I don't think this is fair", Schinas said. This is not the first time that Juncker has exhibited behaviour that indicates a drink problem.

Juncker also teased Hungary's hardline right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orbán over his strongman reputation, jokingly greeting him as "dictator".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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