European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker showcased his diplomatic skills today when he lashed out at critics in Germany and Austria for criticising his decision to bypass national parliaments and implement the controversial Canadian CETA free trade deal.
“Stop that Austrian slapstick,” he fumed after an informal meeting in Brussels of 27 European states, most of whom are in the process of a revolt against him precisely because of his authoritarian touch.
Juncker feigned surprise at the criticism of the Commission’s sleight of hand in reclassifying CETA as a purely European deal, outside the jurisdiction of national parliaments.
“Personally, I couldn’t really care less,” he claimed, dissembling a deep respect for laws and his handy legal assessment giving the European Commission total power over a secretive trade deal which sets up a parallel legal system and transfers power from national parliaments to corporations.
Germany’s Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel was quick to put Juncker in his place.
“Whatever the European Commission decides, in Germany the German parliament decides,” he said.
Good to see Juncker display the kind of finesse that could be very helpful indeed in imploding the EU by the end of the summer.