Juncker’s days seem numbered as Merkel cracks the whip

About a week ago I wondered why Jean-Claude Juncker hadn’t resigned after the Brexit vote.  He is not unaware that much of the “leave” motivation is linked to the behaviour of Brussels bureaucrats and that his name is high on that list.

I wrote then:

The President of the European Commission – a former PM of Luxembourg – is the living face of the privileged, protected, arrogant, unaccountable bureaucracy that is Brussels. The EC – more than anybody – else is the reason for the deep and widespread dissatisfaction in Europe with the way in which the EU operates and where it is headed.

It is time for Jean-Claude Juncker to resign. And that means that the leaders of the core countries need to tell him to go.

The politicians are now realising that Juncker is part of the problem. It would seem that Jean-Claude is not Angela Merkel’s favourite person at the moment. Juncker particularly riled the Germans, the French and the Spanish when he invited Nicola Sturgeon to came calling and then went on German TV to talk about independence for Scotland and N Ireland. The French and Spanish will not thank him for encouraging talk of Catalonia and the Basque country. Moreover it seems Merkel wants to keep the Brexit negotiations at the political level and to keep the Brussels bureaucrats away from the key decisions. If the reports in the Sunday Times, Express and Telegraph, among others, are correct, Juncker will be gone within 12 months.

The Telegraph: Angela Merkel could move to oust Europe’s federalist chief Jean-Claude Juncker ‘within the next year’, a Germany government minister has said, in a sign of deepening European divisions over how to respond to Britain’s Brexit vote.

The German chancellor’s frustration with the European Commission chief came as Europe split over whether to use the Brexit negotiations as a trigger to deepen European integration or take a more pragmatic approach to Britain as it heads for the exit door.

“The pressure on him [Juncker] to resign will only become greater and Chancellor Merkel will eventually have to deal with this next year,” an unnamed German minister told The Sunday Times, adding that Berlin had been furious with Mr Juncker “gloating” over the UK referendum result.

Mr Juncker’s constant and unabashed calls for “more Europe”, as well as his reported drinking problem has led to several of Europe other dissenting members – including Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic – to lay some of the blame for Brexit at his door.

Since the June 23 vote both the Czech and Polish foreign ministers have called publicly for Mr Juncker to resign – moves that one senior EU official dismissed last week as “predictable”. However, the rumblings from Berlin now represent a much more serious threat to Mr Juncker’s tenure. …….

“Everyone is determined that this negotiation is handled in the European Council – i.e. between the 27 heads of government – and not by the Commission, the eurocrats and the EU ‘theologians’ in Brussels,” a senior UK source told The Telegraph.

In a signal that battle has partly already been won, Mrs Merkel pointedly met with French and Italian leaders in Berlin last week, excluding Mr Juncker from the conversation.

Sunday ExpressThe fuming German chancellor is planning to wield the axe on the bungling bureaucrat, who is facing calls from across the continent to resign. Senior ministers in Berlin have been dismayed by Mr Juncker’s confrontational approach to Britain over the last fortnight and now believe he is “part of the problem”. 

…… In particular there is fury and bewilderment in Berlin at his decision to welcome Nicola Sturgeon to Brussels and then talk openly on German television encouraging Scottish and Northern Irish independence. ………… 

Support for the beleaguered Brussels chief appears to be ebbing away fast in Germany with the influential Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper urging him to resign in a recent editorial. It wrote: “Juncker once again shows in a fatal way how little he sees himself to be a president of the Commission that represents the whole of the EU.”

That UK newspapers are contemptuous of Juncker is not all that surprising. But even the Letzebuerg Privat from his home country is pretty damning today:

There are three good reasons for a political resignation: a glaring failure in office, a scandal or a dramatic loss of acceptance. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker meets all three conditions for his overdue resignation. 

Disastrous Juncker

The EU needs deep reform in many areas. But most of all it needs to puncture the bloated egos of its many arrogant, privileged and protected bureaucrats.

And Jean-Claude Juncker’s name leads all the rest.


 

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