European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker was attending a gala dinner at the NATO summit in Brussels with world leaders including US President Donald Trump. A photo shooting was to take place. Juncker was seen stumbling, walking awkwardly and losing his balance several times.
Juncker was swaying to the extent that the presidents of Finland and Ukraine, among others, had to help keep the 63-year-old upright. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte also stepped in to guide Juncker.
Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said Juncker said he had ‘back pain’
He has previously said he suffers from ‘sciatica’ which impairs his movement.
Dutch PM Mark Rutte told Belgian news outlet VRT: “As far as I know, he [Juncker] has no serious health problems, but he has had a back problem for a while.”
According to politico.eu, Juncker told the Irish parliament in June that he suffers from sciatica (pain along the sciatic nerve, which runs down one or both legs from the lower back), which causes problems with walking.
After struggling down a set of stairs as he made his way to a podium in the Dublin parliament, the Commission chief said he was “not drunk” but sometimes struggled to walk because of sciatica sustained in a car crash.
“I would prefer to be drunk,” he added, UK media reported.
According to dailymail, “Juncker’s office declined to comment, citing privacy concerns.”
Of course, if you’re a public figure like Juncker his health condition is of public interest and privacy concerns are for the commoners.
For sure, the scenery was embarrassing.
This is a very embarrassing video of Jean-Claude Juncker unable to stand up straight during official NATO event. Has to be carried up stairs, then guided down them, in daylight hours and before dinner. It is certainly not the look the EU wants to project. https://t.co/xtf54KQ52s
— Ryan Heath (@PoliticoRyan) July 12, 2018
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EU Commission president Juncker at NATO Summit in Brussels. pic.twitter.com/9VWfKOujgo
— Vocal Europe (@thevocaleurope) July 12, 2018
— Gijs van den Heuvel (@gijsvdnheuvel) July 12, 2018
During his visit in Athens on April 26th, Juncker almost collapsed in front of the cameras during a joint press conference with Prime minister Aexis Tsipras.
The 63-year-old said later it was awfully hot – although it was rather ….not.
While he was exiting the Prime Minister’s office Tsipras was seen supporting him by the arm.