Juncker Facing Criminal Probe Into His Wiretapping Scandal

Always-dodgy EU-fantatic Jean-Claude Juncker was ousted as Luxembourg’s Prime Minister in 2013 after a string of wiretap allegations erupted into a full-blown spy scandal – and now a new criminal investigation threatens to bring him down again. A Luxembourg judge has launched a probe into whether officials working for then Prime Minister Juncker falsified evidence for parliamentary and judicial inquiries. The scandal surrounds Juncker’s alleged misuse of Luxembourg’s MI5, the Service de Renseignement de l’État Luxembourgeois (SREL), which was under the authority of his office. It was claimed that during Juncker’s tenure:

  • The SREL illegally bugged politicians, which Juncker failed to stop;
  • Juncker gave spies permission to intercept the telephone calls of their own sources, one of whom said they had a recording of a conversation between Juncker and Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg;
  • Marco Mille, SREL’s former director, claimed he had a recording made on a ‘James Bond’ wristwatch that proved Juncker had given his permission for the phone-tapping;
  • SREL officers bought cars for private use using public cash;
  • Mr Juncker appointed his driver as a spy after he told the PM he wanted a more exciting life.

Juncker is now facing accusations that his former officials gave false evidence under oath during the official investigations into the scandal. Last month Juncker said he was too busy to attend a cross-examination – pressure is now being put on him to testify. A Commission spokesman said: “He is very willing to testify as a witness but it happens that he is also president of the EC, so we have to find a date that matches his institutional obligations.” Juncker’s evasiveness tells its own tale…

May and Juncker Announce Deal

The news you’re waking up to this morning is that a deal has been reached in Phase One of the Brexit negotiations and ‘sufficient progress’ has been declared, paving the way for trade talks. Read the deal in full here

Juncker: No Deal Today, “Very Confident” Sufficient Progress Next Week

Juncker on May

Juncker does May a favour:

“She’s a tough negotiator, not an easy one.”

Juncker: I Am Shocked By Leak

Juncker says the leak didn’t come from him, that he’s “shocked” by the reports in the German press and that it is “not true” he said May “begged for help”. So who was it?

Selmayr: It Wasn’t Me

Last time May had dinner with Juncker his hated aide Martin Selmayr leaked the whole thing to German newspaper FAZ, causing a minor diplomatic incident. Well, the same journalist at the same paper has had another well-informed briefing of Juncker’s view of last week’s dinner. Apparently May “begged”, looked “despondent”, “under her eyes she wears deep rings”, “like someone who does not sleep” and she is “tormented”. Nice.

Former May chief of staff Nick Timothy named Selmayr as the source. He responds:

Selmayr is known as “the monster” so sure we can believe his denial. Reminder that for all the talk of splits on the UK side, the EU is on another level when it comes to poisonous briefings and ideologues undermining the process…

IDS on Juncker

IDS responds to Juncker’s pints analogy earlier:

“Mr Juncker knows a little bit more about the bar than perhaps many of us do.”

Juncker: Thanks For Saving Us in The War, Now You Must Pay

Jean-Claude Juncker today:

“If you are sitting in a bar and if you are ordering 28 beers and then suddenly some of your colleagues is leaving and he’s not paying, that is not feasible. They have to pay. They have to pay. Not in an impossible way. I’m not in a revenge mood – I am not hating the British. The Europeans have to be grateful for so many things Britain has brought to Europe – during war, after war, before war, everywhere and every time. But now they have to pay.”

Did he have an extra cognac with breakfast this morning?

Farage to Juncker: “You’ve Learnt Nothing from Brexit”

Nigel’s responses to Juncker are always good value:

“The way you’re treating Hungary and Poland already must remind them of living under the Soviet communists… all I can say is thank God we’re leaving, but you’ve learnt nothing from Brexit, if you’d given Cameron concessions, particularly on immigration, the Brexit vote, I have to admit, would never, ever have happened… If these plans of Mr Juncker’s come to fruition, far from the populist wave being over, I doubt it’s even begun.”

He is right…

Juncker: EU Will Expand and Have Its Own Army

Jean-Claude Juncker has confirmed the EU will pursue a policy of ever-continuing expansion, create its own army, and force constituent countries to open their borders and join the beleaguered Euro in an speech which will only serve to confirm the decision of every Brexit voter. In his ‘State of the Union’ address to the European Parliament this morning, Juncker restated the EU’s commitment to an expansionist set of policies to further erode the sovereignty of member states; a platform which Remainers will find difficult to explain away.

He explicitly re-stated his ambition to see the European Union continue to expand:

“We must maintain a credible enlargement perspective for the Western Balkans… the European Union will be greater than 27 in number.”

On immigration and free movement, Juncker said the Schengen passport-less area would be extended “immediately” to Bulgaria and Romania:

“If we want to strengthen the protection of our external borders, then we need to open the Schengen area of free movement to Bulgaria and Romania immediately. We should also allow Croatia to become a full Schengen member once it meets all the criteria.”

He confirmed that the EU will create a ‘European Defence Union’ by 2025 – that is, an EU army:

“And I want us to dedicate further efforts to defence matters. A new European Defence Fund is in the offing. As is a Permanent Structured Cooperation in the area of defence. By 2025 we need a fully-fledged European Defence Union. We need it. And NATO wants it.”

On the Euro, Juncker pushed towards compulsory membership for member states:

“The euro is meant to be the single currency of the European Union as a whole. All but two of our Member States are required and entitled to join the euro once they fulfil all conditions. Member States that want to join the euro must be able to do so. This is why I am proposing to create a Euro-accession Instrument, offering technical and even financial assistance.”

And he called for a single European president (merging his job with Donald Tusk’s) and an end to national vetoes.

He then amusingly went on to say Britain will “regret” Brexit. Remainers wondering why the polls haven’t swung back their way should watch Juncker’s speech this morning…

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Friday Caption Contest (Mon Cherie Edition)

Entries in the comments…

Remain Papers Backing Juncker

The coverage of some newspapers breathlessly endorsing Juncker’s nonsense today is remarkable. Not sure siding with Jean-Claude is a great look for Remainers…

UPDATE: Iain Martin agrees over on Reaction.

Juncker’s Nonsense About Ireland

Jean-Claude Juncker has been chatting even more nonsense than usual this morning. He’s claimed the EU has received “no definitive response” from the UK about the Irish border. This is baffling – the UK has published a position paper on Ireland and the EU hasn’t!

Juncker then said it’s “crystal clear” that we can’t talk about the future relationship before solving divorce issues. It is notable that the Irish Taoiseach, an EU head of state, agrees with the UK and wants to discuss both now in order to make progress on the Irish border. It is Brussels holding that up.

A Commission “official” has meanwhile briefed Politico that Britain is using the peace process as a bargaining chip: “We are a bit concerned by the combination in the U.K. paper between the preservation of the peace process and the future of the EU-U.K. trade relationship. It is very important that the peace process does not become a bargaining chip in these negotiations”. Who is really using Irish issues as a bargaining chip: the UK, which is seeking “swift progress”, published a position paper and has the support of Dublin, or the EU, which hasn’t even published a position paper…

Juncker’s Junkets: Commissioners Spent €500,000 on Travel in Two Months

The eye-watering travel bill racked up by unelected European Commissioners was finally made public today after campaigners waged a three year battle to access their expenses claims. The hard-won disclosure reveals the 28 Commissioners spent almost half a million Euro on visits during the first two months of 2016 alone (the only period for which documents have been released). A dossier of claims submitted by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker includes an astonishing €27,000 bill for a two-day trip to Rome on a private jet. A good wine list no doubt…

Juncker, based in Brussels, also claimed nearly €2000 for a one night trip to Berlin (a single ticket on a budget airline costs around €25 Euro). He even claimed for minor excursions despite his €324,377 (£275,275) salary: he was paid €48 in ‘daily allowances’ to attend a meeting in Germany with Martin Schulz. Wonder what that went on…

The data, which can be viewed thanks to a campaign led by Access Info Europe, shows the Commissioners enjoyed 261 official trips in January and Feburary 2016. Britain’s former Commissioner Jonathan Hill spent €422 on food and drink and €1017 on hotels during a two day trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Tax-payer funded extravagances included splurging on ‘air taxis’ – chartered planes – by foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini, who spent €75,000 in a single trip to Azerbaijan. Christos Stylianides, the commissioner for humanitarian aid, claimed €11,000 for a trip to Somalia and Turkey. Makes a change from using planes owned by lobbyists…

Despite the embarrassing release, the Commission still has the brass neck to resist further disclosures covering the remainder of 2016, saying this would impose an “excessive administrative burden”. For three years the EU has tried to block transparency on Commissioners’ expenses at every turn. Helen Darbishire, Executive Director of Access Info Europe, said:

“Giving 120 requesters only two months’ worth of expenses data is a token gesture…The real cost here is not the cost of processing data, but rather it’s the cost to the credibility of and trust in the European Commission when it refuses to publish basic information about the spending of taxpayers’ funds.”

Thankfully the British taxpayer will no longer be funding Juncker’s junkets…

Juncker: European Parliament is “Ridiculous”

Guido could have told Jean-Claude that years ago…

Friday Caption Contest (Make Mine A Double Edition)

This week we are giving the wittiest entry a copy of Douglas Carswell’s new book Rebel: How to Overthrow the Emerging Oligarchy. Emphasis on wit not insult…

Polish MP Complains About Jean-Claude Druncker

Polish MP Krystyna Pawłowicz has written to Jean-Claude Juncker complaining that his “obvious alcohol dependency” has become a “problem of the entire European community”. Pawłowicz claims Juncker’s drinking was “particularly distasteful and out of place” during the visit of Pope Francis and accuses him of “offensive” behaviour towards “women who were certainly too polite to ask you to take a rest”.

No one would ever have known

Crowdfunded Juncker Legal Challenge

juncker

Jean-Claude Juncker is in hot water after issuing a potentially unlawful decree to EU commissioners ordering them not to negotiate with Britain. Juncker told them he was using a “Presidential order” to block talks, but embarrassingly the Commission was later forced to admit no such thing exists. This is the phrase that is giving Juncker a legal problem:

“I have forbidden Commissioners from holding discussions with representatives from the British Government — by Presidential order… I have told all the Directors-General that there cannot be any prior discussions with British representatives.”

He is now being taken to court for the “misleading, unlawful and harmful” ban on negotiations. The legal challenge is being crowdfunded here

Which Remainer are you? Post-Brexit Edition

You can take the pre-referendum quiz here[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Tory MP Nick Boles says what everyone thinks…

“There is a timidity and lack of ambition about Mrs May’s Government which means it constantly disappoints. Time to raise your game, Prime Minister.”

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