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When Jean-Claude Juncker was tapped

(B2) This Friday (November 29), the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker made his public farewell, descending into the press room. Opportunity for last confidences…

Jean-Claude Juncker during his last press conference Friday November 29, 2019 surrounded by his closest spokespersons (source: EBS/European Commission – selection B2)

The year is 1997. Jean-Claude Juncker is then Prime Minister of Luxembourg. He is traveling to Paris for a meeting with Jacques Delors. For logistical reasons, he changes hotels at the last minute, without time to notify anyone. But there is a surprise at the end, or rather two.

A call from Bill Clinton in the middle of the night

In the middle of the night, " It was 2 or 3 a.m., maybe even more, Bill Clinton [who was then American president] called me to tell me about a problem between Airbus and Boeing. I was very surprised that he found me in this hotel because he called me on the hotel landline when even the delegation did not know that I had changed hotels. But so the President of the United States knew it…” End of the first episode. The sequel is just as amazing.

A commentary by Jacques Chirac in the morning

“The next day, I was very surprised. When Jacques Chirac welcomes me on the steps of the Elysée, telling me: “the way you responded to Clinton is the way Europeans should speak to Americans.” So I said to myself... » he testifies.

Conclusion: Americans listen to Europeans, that's for sure. But it's not just them... And a Prime Minister, even a Luxembourger, must also be listened to...

(CG, st.)

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