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30 Unbelievable Facts You Didn’t Know About Jean-Claude Juncker

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Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, was one of the longest-serving democratically elected leaders in the world. Here are some very interesting facts about the Luxembourgish politician:

  1. He was born on December 09, 1954, in Redange, Luxembourg to Joseph Juncker and Marguerite Juncker.
  2. His father Joseph, a steel worker and a Christian trade unionist was forced to fight for the German Wehrmacht army during the World War II.
  3. In 2014, his father aged 90 and living in nursing home, wept when a radio station reported on the ‘The Sun’ newspaper’s allegation that he was the Juncker family’s ‘Nazi link.’
  4. Juncker’s father-in-law Louis Mathias Frising was a teacher in Ettelbruck, Luxembourg, when Germans invaded in 1940. Frising volunteered to be a Nazi propaganda chief and was responsible for enforcing a law which stripped Jews of their rights and professions.
  5. Juncker has occupied Luxembourg’s top job for an astonishing 18 years from 1995 to 2013, making him one of the longest serving democratically elected leaders in the world.
  6. On July 15, 2014, the European Parliament elected Juncker as the European Commission President through Spitzenkandidat process where he pooled 422 votes out of 729 cast.
  7. In 2014, Jeroen Dijssebloem, the Dutch finance minister who succeeded Juncker as President of the Eurogroup, described him as a heavy smoker and drinker, but later apologized for his comments. Juncker suffers from sciatica attacks because of a car accident.
  8. He spent his childhood in Belvaux, where his father was employed in one of the big steel plant. After completing his secondary education in Belgium, he obtained his baccalaureat at the Lycee and enrolled at the Faculty of Law of the Universite de Strasbourg in 1975.
  9. As a member of Christian Social Party since 1974 and he attracted the attention of the party leaders, mainly due to his talent as an orator and analytical mind. He is fluent in French, German, and English apart from his native language.
  10. Juncker became the party’s parliamentary secretary in October 1979 and was appointed as State Secretary for Labour and Social Security in December 1982.
  11. In June 1984, Juncker was elected to the Luxembourg Parliament for the first time and was appointed as Minister of Finance and Minister of Labor.
  12. In 2018, Juncker is believed to have chartered private jets for nearly half of his worldwide mission contrary to E.U. Commission rules, as these are funded by EU taxpayers. This revelation sparked calls for the E.U. Commission president to be investigated for excessive use of private jets.
  13. In 1989, following a serious road accident which left him in a critical condition and subsequently led to coma from which he didn’t emerge until two weeks later.
  14. Juncker was to prove himself as an outstanding politician and statesman between 1989 and 1994. He introduced most extensive tax reforms that the country had ever known in January 1993 and was the chairman of the Christian Social Party between 1990 and 1995.
  15. In 1989, he as the finance minister, he took a seat as Luxembourg’s representative on the 188 member board of Governors of the World Bank.
  16. Juncker chaired the council of Economic and Financial Affairs and was the key architect of the ‘Maastricht Treaty’ signed by the European Community in February 1992. It was he who saved the EMU negotiations earlier by establishing the ‘opt out’ principle for the U.K.
  17. On January 20, 1995, Juncker was appointed as Prime Minister, succeeding Jacques Santer, who was elected as president of the European Commission.
  18. Juncker’s term in office was characterized by robust economic reforms by strengthening political and economic links with many countries. By 2001 Luxembourg was among the top five countries most involved in development cooperation, with 0.8% of its GDP.
  19. In December 1996, he was dubbed the ‘Hero of Dublin,’ for his successful handling of a tricky mediation the German Federal Chancellor, Helmet Kohl, and the President of the French Republic, Jacques Chirac, concerning EU Economic and Monetary Union policy.
  20. In 1998, he was awarded the ‘Vision of Europe Award,’ for constituting the so-called ‘Luxembourg Process’ of integrating European policy against unemployment, for instigating the ‘Euro 11,’ an informal group of European Finance Ministers and for promoting the cause of social integration in Europe.
  21. On November 19, 2012, according to the RTL Television channel’s report, the former head of the State Intelligence Service, Marco Mille, had used a wristwatch to record a confidential conversation with Juncker in 2008. The conversation highlighted the disorganized state of secret service and link between Grand Duke Henri and MI6.
  22. On September 10, 2004, Juncker was elected President of the Eurogroup, the informal meeting of the Minsters of Finance of the Euro area. He became the first elected and permanent President of the group.
  23. On July 11, 2013, he was forced to resign the office of Prime Minister, following secret service enquiry commission’s report holding him responsible for agencies illegal bugging of politicians, purchase of cars for private use and allegation accepting payment for favors.
  24. On November 05, 2014, in leaked documentsit was revealed how some 340 major companies from around the world arranged specific designed corporate structure with Luxembourg authorities to save million in tax.
  25. On May 22, 2015, at the European Union summit at Riga, Latvia, Juncker along with Donald Tusk and Laimdota Straujuma, greeted E.U. leaders in a way unusual to diplomacy. He offered his own tie, patted the belly, slapped the cheeks, kissed the bald head and also used the expression ‘the dictator is coming.’
  26. In August 2016, in a speech at the European Forum Alpach in Vienna, he said solidarity must be shown to refugees and their children. The national borders are the worst invention ever made by politicians.
  27. He was criticized when he unveiled an eighteen foot bronze statue of Karl Marx, on May 04, 2018, in Trier, Germany, and defends his legacy in a controversial speech to mark his 200th birthday celebration. He was accused of insulting victims of communism.
  28. In December 2018, at the European Council meeting in Brussels, Juncker was seen playing with a women’s hair. Amber Rudd, a former minister for women and equalities, branded his behavior grotesque.
  29. His contribution to Europe made him very popular and was bestowed with awards, such as ‘European of the Year.’ ‘Vision for Europe Award,’ ‘European Prize for Political Cultural of the Hans Ringier Foundation,’ and ‘Gold Medal of the Jean Monnet Foundation for Europe.’
  30. He is married to Christiane Frising since 1979 and the couple doesn’t have any children. It is believed that the pair met while Juncker attended university in Alsace.
  31. Jean-Claude Juncker Net Worth: $2.6 Million

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