James Crisp. Freelance journalist in Brussels.

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Juncker: I have a black book of my enemies

Jean-Claude Juncker has a little black book called “little Maurice” where he notes the names of everyone who has betrayed him, the European Commission president said in an interview in which he denied kissing UKIP leader Nigel Farage after the Brexit vote.

“I’ve never taken revenge,” Juncker told the Belgian newspaper Le Soir, but he added, “I take my precautions”.

Junker has kept “Little Maurice” – a name taken from a German saying – for 30 years and written the name of everyone who had tricked him in it.

There are not many names in the book, Juncker said, because he had been so rarely betrayed.

“I am not vindictive but I have a good memory,” he said in the interview published today (30 July).

The book had come in handy when he was prime minister of Luxembourg. Juncker would tell people attacking him, “Be careful Little Maurice is waiting for you”. “It had a dissuasive effect,” he laughed.

Juncker has faced calls for his resignation and accusations that he was a drinking problem since becoming Commission boss in November 2014.  Asked during the interview if rumours of his alcoholism were false, he said, “Yes!”.

He denied that the fallout of the British vote to Brexit the EU had weakened his position.

“For every call for my resignation, there is an underlying reason,” Juncker said, “but none of them have impressed me enough to destabilise me. I am stable!”

‘I didn’t kiss Farage’

Juncker praised his nemesis Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party and the man most responsible for forcing former Prime Minister David Cameron to call the referendum.

“I respect the man. He has a good sense of humour and is well-read,” Juncker said before denying he had kissed Farage at the European Parliament debate following the Brexit vote.

“That day, after Brexit, I told him ‘I am stunned you are still here’ and I told him something in his ear that was not a compliment. The photos gave the impression that I had kissed him,” he said.

“Was I to make a big deal out of it and say ‘I was whispering in his ear’ or just leave it? At my age, one leaves it.”

>>Read: Whole story on EurActiv.

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This entry was posted on August 2, 2016 by in Brexit, Interviews, Journalism, UKIP and tagged , .

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