Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s final speech with Malta at the helm of the EU presidency has ended with a harsh exchange of words between the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and the President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani.
Muscat, whose original speech was intended to focus on EU’s struggle with refugees, watched on with a large grin as Juncker called the EU’s parliament “ridiculous” and vowed to never attend a meeting like this again.
An angry Tajani interrupted Juncker to tell him that it’s not the Commission who controls the Parliament, but rather the other way around. Still, this did not stop the Commission’s President, who went so far as to say if Angela Merkel or Emmanuel Macron were the ones speaking the chamber would be full.
“The Parliament has to respect even the presidencies of smaller countries.”
From over 750 MEPs, Juncker estimated there were only 30 present in the hall during the debate. According to the BBC many have already left on their seven-week paid holiday.