The European Commission attempted to delete footage of Jean-Claude Juncker insulting Italians from its video service and his spokesman has tried to deny he called the country workshy and corrupt. Speaking at a Q&A yesterday, Juncker said:
“Italians must take care of the poor regions of Italy, which means more work, less corruption, seriousness. We will help them as we have always done, but do not face the game of discharging responsibility with the EU: a country is a country, a nation is a nation, countries first, Europe second.”
He also called for an end to “Russia-bashing”. When the Guardian reported Juncker’s words, his spokesman lied: “I do not understand that the president has used those words on Italy”, claiming they had been taken “out of context”. Full context here. The video of Juncker speaking was then removed from the European Commission audiovisual services website. It was later restored and Juncker’s comments were condemned as “unacceptable” by the Italian president of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani.
This comes a day after German MEP Markus Ferber sparked outcry after threatening that the Troika could “march into Rome and take over the finance ministry”.
Which in turn came a day after the EU Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger was forced to apologise after suggesting that the financial markets would show Italians they cannot vote for 5Star and League.
You can see why Remainers have been so quiet about how the EU has been behaving towards Italy over the last few days…