Dijsselbloem: “Everytime I meet Juncker, he embraces me and I get wet kisses”
“In an interview with Dutch magazine Vrij Nederland, Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem speaks among other about his relation with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
Dijsselbloem says that his relation to the former Eurogorup chief had really improved after he apologized twice for describing him as “a smoker and drinker.”
“We call almost weekly to match what we say about Greece. Every time I met him, he embraced me and I get wet kisses.”
Below an excerpt from the Dutch Magazine translated via automatic trasnlation
Last year Dijsselbloems frankness again led to an international row when he called Jean-Claude Juncker in the TV program Knevel & Van den Brink an “inveterate smoker and drinker.” The quote went all over the world. Juncker, who had just been nominated for the presidency of the European Commission, found itself forced to publicly declare that he had “no alcohol problem”.
The ill-advised Dijsselbloem could have even a cost for a possible position as Commissioner: when Juncker as chairman was appointed, went into the media the persistent rumor that he would block out of anger Dijsselbloem’s candidacy..
“I have confirmed several officials,” says Peter Spiegel, who is one of the best established correspondents in Brussels. “Juncker has an elephant’s memory. He forgets nothing. ”
Dijsselbloem himself believes that his statement did not permanently damage the relationship with Juncker. “It was an unfortunate joke, where Jean-Claude had a lot of trouble with. I twice apologized. First by telephone and later by a cup of coffee. It must also be done, you can stay busy. “
Meanwhile, Dijsselbloem says he has a” good relationship “with Juncker.
“We call almost weekly to match what we say about Greece. Every time I met him, he embraced me and I get wet kiss. “Grinning. ” He seems to do that to everybody. “ (full interview Vrij Nederland)