Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Juncker seen stumbling before North Atlantic Treaty Organisation gala dinner, leaders step in to help

Stumbling Juncker helped by leaders before Nato gala dinner Juncker seen stumbling before NATO gala dinner, leaders step in to help
Jeannette Daniel | 13 July, 2018, 20:05

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was experiencing a sciatic attack when he was seen losing his balance ahead of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit gala dinner, a spokesperson said.

Juncker's discomfort led the prime ministers of the Netherlands and Portugal to help him off a stage, while US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May stood and watched.

Juncker was not drunk, the spokesman said, when he was seen on video unsteady on his feet before a dinner of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders in Brussels.

The spokesman Steffen Seibert made the statement in response to questions about Juncker's health, after he was helped by European Union leaders when he lost his footing at an outdoor music event ahead of a gala dinner at the Brussels summit.

Juncker has previously revealed that he suffers from sciatica - a leg pain originating in the lower back - that can sometimes affect his movements. "I don't think this is elegant and I don't think this is fair", Schinas said. "That was unfortunately the case Wednesday night", Schinas added. "He is taking medication and feels better".

More news: United States professor of biology believes hunted whale to be a blue whale

The term sciatica describes the painful symptoms when the sciatic nerve, which runs from your hips to your feet, is irritated due to something pressing or rubbing on it.

Asked whether Mr Juncker had mixed painkillers and alcohol, Mr Schinas replied: "No he didn't - at least I am not aware of this happening".

The German government weighed in on Friday, with spokesman Steffen Seibert saying Berlin has a "very high level of confidence" in the Commission president.

Juncker also teased Hungary's hardline right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orbán over his strongman reputation, jokingly greeting him as "dictator".

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