Juncker slams European Parliament "ridiculous" in unusual attack

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker lashed out against the "very ridiculous" European Parliament, in a debate that only a handful of MEPs attended on Tuesday morning (4 July).

Mr Juncker was angered by only around 30 MEPs attending a plenary session to discuss the Maltese presidency of the EU.

Visibly annoyed, Italy's Antonio Tajani, the president of the Parliament, asked Juncker to show some respect.

But Mr Juncker shot back: "There are only a few members in the plenary to control the commission, you are ridiculous".

The outburst came as only a small number of Members of the European Parliament (MEP) attended a session which was meant to review the six-months Malta spent as EU presidency chair.

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Malta, the bloc's smallest member state, has just finished its term as holders of the six-month presidency of the EU.

"This is not serious", Juncker said because of the presence of only thirty - in his words - MEPs in the hall.

The head of the EU's executive body has described the European Parliament as ridiculous after only a few dozen MEPs turned up to a debate.

But Mr Tajani angrily interrupted and demanded that Mr Juncker show some respect. "It is the parliament that should be controlling the Commission".

Standing up in nearly empty chamber in Strasbourg, Juncker denounced the legislative body as "ridiculous, totally ridiculous".

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The review was presented by the Maltese prime minister, Joseph Muscat, and Juncker was scheduled to speak as well. Philippe Lamberts, of the Greens group, was seen applauding Juncker. The former prime minister of Luxembourg, who has headed up the EU's civil service since 2014, branded the institution as "ridiculous".

Juncker was referring to Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and Emmanuel Macron, the French president.

'The Commission is under the control of the parliament but the Parliament has to respect even the presidencies of smaller countries, which is what the Parliament is not doing'.

"You are ridiculous." Overriding Tajani's interruption, he added: "I will never again attend a meeting of this kind".

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