“I am a free man,” says Juncker
(CS/mig) Former Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker in an interview with RTL on Saturday commented that he is “a free man,” further adding to speculation that he is eyeing a career in Brussels.
In an interview published by German news agency dpa earlier this week, Juncker had already said that he is in “a thought process” with several other people about a possible departure from Luxembourg politics.
Speaking to RTL, Juncker added that, while he does not feel pushed towards Europe it is “not as though 1,000 horses were holding me back.”
The CSV's opposition leader also confirmed that he is talks with people “from all regions of Europe” but that a decision had not yet been made. At the heart of the matter, he said, was the question of how he wants to spend his life. Juncker said that he had made many sacrifices in the past but that now he is “a free man.”
Juncker offered to step down
During the 2013 election campaign Juncker had repeatedly said that he would serve either as PM or MP in Luxembourg, denying that he had ambitions for an EU post.
In the dpa interview, however, he relativised his statement, saying he had wanted to serve as an MP should his party lose the elections, which, in his eyes, it didn't but rather was pushed into the opposition.
Speaking to RTL, Juncker explained that he had offered to step aside as the CSV's top candidate should coalition talks with the DP hinge on his departure. However, such a proposal from the DP or the CSV was never on the table, at least not to his knowledge, he added.
Efforts to “destroy” Juncker's reputation
Juncker also used to chance to comment on a note published earlier this week by business magazine paperJam, in which former secret service agent André Kemmer alleged that Juncker had been drunk at a meeting that took place together with former head of the SREL Marco Mille.
Kemmer said that Juncker was insulting and used a series of profanities against the secret service men. However, following the day of paperJam's publication this week, he said that he never wished the note to be made public, but that it had been for his own files only.
Kemmer explained that he had given the note to a friend, who must have passed it on to the media.
On Saturday, Juncker commented that efforts had been made to remove him from the Prime Minister's office and that now efforts continue to “destroy my reputation.”
Juncker expressed disappointment that such notes were given credibility, while his own statements over the past months were not trusted, clearly referring to his defence in parliament about his apparent failure to control the secret service, which ultimately led to the call for snap elections.