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Taoiseach on Juncker hair ruffle: 'It's probably ill advised to fluff other people’s hair'

A video emerged this week of Juncker walking up to EU’s deputy head of protocol and ruffling her hair.

Juncker ruffling a woman's hair at a recent EU Summit.
Juncker ruffling a woman's hair at a recent EU Summit.
Image: YouTube

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR has said it is not advisable to fluff other people’s hair. 

He commented after EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker made headlines again this month with his bizarre behaviour at the European Council Summit.

A video showed Juncker walking up to EU’s deputy head of protocol Pernilla Sjölin and ruffling her hair before giving her a kiss on the cheek.  

This is not the first time Juncker’s behaviour has raised questions, but Taoiseach Leo Varadkar came to his defence this week, stating he has “absolute and immense confidence in Jean-Claude Juncker”. He called him a “very good colleague” and a “very good supporter of Ireland”.

However, commenting on the latest hair ruffling incident, Varadkar said:

Probably ill-advised to fluff other people’s hair though. I don’t think that’s eh, I don’t think that’s eh, eh… anyway. I wouldn’t do that myself.

Source: The Sun/YouTube

In recent years, questions have been raised about Juncker’s behaviour and drinking habits, but he has vehemently denied any issues. He has spoken about having a back issue that caused him difficulties walking, and had a sciatica attack earlier this year.

However, fresh concerns were aired this week when Juncker stumbled at a dinner party. 

Source: AP Archive/YouTube

When asked if Juncker still had the capacity to be the president of the EU Commission at such a sensitive time in the Brexit negotiations, Varadkar said: 

“I have never once seen him anything other than sober. And he has sciatica and walks in a particular way and some elements of the media make that out to be related to alcohol. It’s not. I know it’s not.”

The EU Commission president also made headlines last week when it was reported he had called the UK Prime Minister Theresa May ‘nebulous’.

It resulted in Juncker having to clarify his remarks after a video showed a heated exchange between him and May.

May confirmed that she had a “robust discussion” with Juncker after footage emerged of the pair having the row at an EU summit.

As the leaders gathered in their conference room, May was filmed by the EU’s in-house TV crew confronting Juncker asking why he called her “nebulous”. 

Instead of the anodyne pleasantries the leaders normally exchange in front of the cameras, a visibly angry May confronted Juncker to demand he explain what he said.

Varadkar states that Juncker did not call May nebulous, stating:

“I was there, he didn’t call Prime Minister May nebulous.

“I think he was referring to some of the requests or demands from the UK but that wasn’t a remark about her personally. Not at all.” 

It was reported that Juncker had in fact called the UK’s position on Brexit nebulous.

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